International conference: more cooperation to reduce food waste

A group of organisations in the public and private sectors are coming together to fight food waste. New forms of financing designed to accelerate innovation are emerging, and a better and more universal method of data collection and monitoring is in the pipeline. These are just a few of the results of the international conference 'NO MORE FOOD TO WASTE: Global action to stop food waste and food losses,' which was held over the past four days at the World Forum in The Hague, the Netherlands.

The chairperson of the conference, the Dutch Minister for Agriculture Sharon Dijksma, said, ‘In September, governments from around the world are meeting in New York City to decide whether to sign on to the ambition to reduce food waste by 50% in 2030. Things look good, because all parties were tremendously committed to finding solutions and building partnerships. The countries that attended agreed to stick to this course and keep the subject on the international agenda – as it needs to be, because there are still over 800 million people going hungry, while a third of the food we produce goes uneaten.’

Now, governments, researchers and companies around the world have joined hands to turn the tide of this massive waste. Participants from 60 countries came to the conference to call for an end to food losses and food waste. They included 16 government ministers, major companies like Nestlé, DSM, and Ahold, leading scientists, and civil society organisations.

There are still over eight hundred million people in the world going hungry every day, while a further two billion suffer from ‘hidden hunger,’ or micronutrient deficiencies. Meanwhile, the world population continues to grow and is projected to reach nine billion in 2050. Experts predict that we will then need to be producing 60% more food than we do now.

The conference was organised by the Dutch government, in cooperation with the government of Vietnam, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the African Union Commission (AUC).