In September 2015 the United Nations Assembly approved the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and a set of 17 universal goals (Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs) in the priority attempt to end extreme poverty, to combat inequalities and injustices and to tackle climate change. Among the priorities identified, the objective is to reduce global food waste: by 2030 global food waste per person should be halved at both retail and consumer levels and food losses along production and supply chains should be reduced. .
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), one third of all food products worldwide (1.3 billion tons of edible food) are lost or wasted along the entire supply chain from the producer to the consumer every year: from agricultural production to food processing, their transport and sale, up to the conservation and use of food in our homes. More than a billion tons of food is wasted every year, while at the same time one of nine people on the planet suffer from hunger and malnutrition.
Reducing food waste and waste could help recoup economic losses and reduce financial burdens. In fact, this inefficiency in the global food system has important not only social and environmental but also economic effects: losses amount to about 2,300 billion euros per year.
In terms of environmental impact, on the other hand, food waste can be considered as an extremely inefficient use of natural resources: wasting food also means wasting the energy resources, water and land used to produce it. Food waste is also responsible for at least 7% of global greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to approximately 3 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. This quantity includes, in addition to the emissions of the agricultural production process, also those of the other production sectors, including the industrial one (for example for the production of fertilizers), transport (food transfer), construction (storage), energy (refrigeration).
It is in fact known that the agri-food system as a whole, especially where it is very intense and specialized, can cause pollution and impoverishment of water resources, soil erosion and consequent loss of natural habitats.
With a broader view of the problem, we can also consider the loss of food and nutritional quality in favor of mass production as a component of food waste. The most serious effects of this loss create different types of food insecurity that can lead to malnutrition or undernourishment, nutrient deficiency (proper malnutrition), overeating and obesity.
Reducing food loss and waste can therefore generate a triple benefit: for the economy, for food security and for the environment.
In Italy, a small step to concretely address this problem was taken with the approval in 2016 of the national law against "food waste" which introduced a series of provisions for the donation and distribution of food (and pharmaceutical) products for purposes of social solidarity and for the limitation of waste, many positive results have been achieved in terms of the "recovery" of food, with important experiences for the educational and awareness-raising aspect. This standard also defines a recovery and reuse hierarchy, assigning priority to destitute people and also contemplating their transfer for the vital support of animals and their destination for self-composting or community composting.
One year after the approval of the law, it emerged that the recovery of surpluses by the large-scale retail trade had an increase in 20%. On the side of the prevention of food waste, better results are expected, through the integration of the problem in the planning tools for the production, distribution and consumption of food and the development of local food policies, with the aim of producing less waste throughout the production chain.
It is important to remember that efforts to reduce food losses and waste will not be successful without the contribution of research and innovation and without an increase in awareness!
IoBoscoVivo strongly believes in the importance of reducing food waste and for this reason we have only studied and packaged our products in single-portion pack with ideal weights to avoid unnecessary food waste, thus ensuring a product that is always good and rich in nutrients!
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- FAO. 2020 Reduce food losses and waste to improve food safety and environmental sustainability. Available at http://www.fao.org/news/story/it/item/1310445/icode/