Messe Düsseldorf and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have agreed on continuing their cooperation for the coming years as part of the SAVE FOOD Initiative. Werner Matthias Dornscheidt, President and CEO of Messe Düsseldorf, and Kostas G. Stamoulis, Assistant Director General of the Economic and Social Development Department, FAO signed a corresponding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) during the SAVE FOOD Congress 2017 on 4 May at interpack in Düsseldorf. As early as 2013, two years after the official launch of SAVE FOOD at interpack 2011, the cooperation had already been initiated by such a document. UNEP, the United Nations Environmental Programme is another partner of the initiative.
Commenting on this Werner M. Dornscheidt said: “The SAVE FOOD Initiative has developed very well over the past six years. Over 850 companies, associations, research institutes and NGOs are now our members. We are very pleased to be able to further expand this strong alliance together with the FAO to continue fighting the problem of global food losses and waste in a targeted manner and with joint forces.”
“We can only counter the problem of the tremendous extent of food waste and losses, the latter especially hitting developing nations, by joining forces with the industry and other partners. The SAVE FOOD Initiative provides the industry with a platform to network on and become involved in concrete projects. This way the problem can be addressed for the benefit of all,” underscores Kostas Stamoulis.
The SAVE FOOD Initiative pursues the aim of reducing global food losses and waste by successive measures that build upon each other. At first awareness is raised about the problem and then the expertise of both public and private organisations is pooled. The aim is to give members a forum for networking hoping this will result in fundamental strategies and, in the final analysis, concrete involvement and investment possibilities.
To this end the Initiative focuses on organising periodic events in the form of the SAVE FOOD Congress, which has been organised as part of interpack since 2011, as well as the SAVE FOOD Meetings in the years in-between interpack in cooperation with branded product manufacturers from the food industry. After the first meeting at Nestlé in Vevey/Switzerland last year, the second meeting took place in Madrid involving the Spanish industry associations “Exporters’ and Investors’ Club” and AECOC/GS1. In September 2016 Queen Letizia of Spain was among the participants.
The Initiative funds studies in developing and threshold countries that are conducted by the FAO with a view to generating insights about food losses. The results of the latest field study in India were presented at the SAVE FOOD Congress 2017.
A best case example of a concrete cooperation is the mango project in Kenya. Endowed with equipment, expertise and initial funding by SAVE FOOD members, the local enterprise Azuri Health processes mangos into dried fruit. In this Eastern African country some 300,000 tons of mango are lost every year because they are either not harvested or processed in time. The project has developed very well – shortly the products will even be exported as far away as to Japan.
In addition to this, there is a special show about SAVE FOOD – the innovationparc at interpack 2017. Some 20 companies and organizations showcase their products and approaches there.
The future engagements of the Initiative focus on China and Thailand, to name but two countries. Messe Düsseldorf is already active organizing events in China and Asia, respectively and therefore maintains excellent contacts there.
For more information on the SAVE FOOD Initiative, the Congress agenda at interpack on 4 May, go to www.save-food.org.
5 May 2017