The Ministry of Agriculture and the FAO of Argentina celebrated the 1st International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste

30 Sep 2020

It was with the aim of promoting and facilitating actions to eliminate food loss and waste worldwide, thus contributing to sustainable development and efficiency in food systems.

On September 29, the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of the Nation, Luis Basterra, actively participated in the celebration of the 1st International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste, known as 29S, an initiative of Argentina that took place today in a virtual event organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries, which featured activities at the global level and specialists to raise awareness in this regard at all levels .

The opening ceremony featured presentations by the Secretary of Food, Bioeconomy and Regional Development, Marcelo Alós; the Food Security specialist in charge of FAO in Argentina, Carmelo Gallardo, and the president of the National Council for Social Policies, Victoria Tolosa Paz.

In addition, the governor of Neuquén, Omar Gutiérrez; the Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Relations, International Trade and Worship of the Nation, Guillermo Chávez; the Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Juan Cabandié; and the Secretary of Internal Trade, Paula Español.

“Argentina is truly a pioneer in this type of action on food loss and waste, to give an effective rationale to the problem of hunger. Our president in December of last year summoned the National Council to Fight Hunger, because that is the country in which we live and in which we have to deploy our activities, where there are compatriots who today are hungry, “said Basterra, during his presentation.

In that sense, the head of the national agricultural portfolio stated that “we work permanently from the State on how to mitigate food losses and waste, it is substantial that we put it into debate, because ultimately the volumes of food that are lost are really important “, and concluded that” from the Ministry through INTA for many years it has been working to avoid losses in the harvest, that is why it is very important that we advance in these spaces of articulation with the provincial governments and with the private sector, that we carry to the extreme the effort, so that there is not a plate of food that does not reach the table of the Argentines “.

Meanwhile, Secretary Alós presented the “Argentina 2030 Let’s Value Food Strategy” and pointed out that “Argentina has a specific policy to achieve goal 12.3 and a strong commitment to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially SDG2. The goal is to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. ”

On the other hand, the FAO Food Security specialist in Argentina, Carmelo Gallardo, congratulated our country for the initiative to generate this commemoration day and stated that “we are all together facing the same problem and its solutions. Do this in Argentina is very important since it has been one of the great promoters at the global level, it is a leading country in sharing south-south experiences, it has its own institutional framework and a national plan to reduce PDA, promoted by the Ministry that leads Basterra, generating international awareness. Reducing the volumes of loss and waste will benefit us socially, economically and environmentally. ”

In turn, the Chief of Staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that “President Fernández marked that course from the first day of his administration, and although the pandemic precipitated certain decision-making, they did not overshadow this quest to eradicate hunger in Argentina, that will continue to be a priority. ”

According to the latest report from the State of Food and Agriculture, about 14% of food worldwide is lost before reaching the retail level. In order for the problem to have greater visibility and to have a commemoration in the international calendar, the Argentine government presented, through the FAO, the petition to be celebrated on September 29 as the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste .

Thus, in 2019, the United Nations General Assembly designated the commemorative date in question, with the intention of recognizing the fundamental role that sustainable production plays in promoting food security and nutrition.

During the day, the importance of working to have more just, sustainable and resilient food systems, with innovative practices and policies to contribute to the fight against hunger and poverty, was highlighted. The importance of the global agri-food system and in particular the role that Argentina has as a supplier of safe agri-food, of recognized quality, and with added value was also pointed out.

In our country 16 million tons of food are lost and wasted per year. For that reason, this first international commemoration, in the midst of the crisis generated by the pandemic, is an opportunity to reinforce that all of us have a role to play in the food system in general and in reducing loss and waste. in particular. Not only because of the food that is thrown away but also because of the resources that are needed to produce it and that have a direct impact on the health of the planet.

The day of celebration, moderated by the Responsible for Food and Nutrition Security of FAO, Elizabeth Kleiman, featured a panel of experiences from organizations that represent different links in the value chain of the food sector.

Karen Vizental, Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Sustainability at Unilever for Latin America and the Southern Cone, and Yamila Scollo, Manager of Sustainability & CSR at Carrefour Argentina, who have been working with FAO and MAGYP since 2016 shared their experiences on the joint work between the public and private sector.

Erika Rodriguez, General Manager Latin America Consumer Goods Forum, spoke about the experience carried out in supermarkets and supermarkets to generate a baseline of the sector and understand its causes, which was possible thanks to an alliance with the IDB, the GS1 organizations and WeTeam and of course the predisposition and participation of the supermarkets in the sector.

Dante Camilo Vieyra, Secretary of Government and Regional Development of Río Cuarto spoke about the experience of the Mercado de Abasto in the study of cases of prevention and reduction of food losses and waste launched by MAGYP with the support of FAO, where They address different representative food SMEs of their sector.

Finally, different models of rescue and food donation were presented, with special emphasis on the context of the COVID 19 pandemic, such is the case of the Argentine Network of Food Banks, presented by Natascha Hinsch and Gionnatan Borboy, Coordinator of South Zone Projects of the AlimenDar Network.

It should be noted that given Argentina’s leadership in the matter, Basterra also participated in the opening activities of the regional meeting, which were held in Chile as part of the celebration.

The main objective of this event was to raise awareness about the importance of the problem of food loss and waste and its possible solutions at all levels, in an attempt to promote global efforts and collective action to meet goal 12.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). That is, by 2030, halve global per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level, and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses.

Source: Agro Sitio