onsdag den 20. maj 2015

EU FUSIONS - Fighting Food Waste: Prevention vs. Symptom Treatment

by Selina Juul, Founder of Stop Wasting Food movement Denmark

The focus topic of food waste has recently reached Time Magazine. The fight against food waste has really hit the mainstream media. And it’s about time, because minimizing food losses and waste will soon become one of the crucial aspects of ensuring the future survival of human species.

Today, not only the food waste, but the fight against food waste itself is becoming an industry. A lot of good action and initiatives against food waste are taking place in EU and all around the world.

And yet.

There are also a lot of initiatives, which don’t contribute to the prevention itself, but only to symptom treatment, leaving out the essence of the very fight against food waste out of equation.

There is a lot of symbolic action and greenwashing going on as well. Top retail trendsetters of the world place the fight against food waste among the top five CSR priorities for every company having a CSR policy.

Sincere actions are being made, and yet the symbolic actions too: a food company publishing a colorful brochure with consumer tips to reduce food waste without actually reducing their own food waste in the company.

The food waste symptom treatment filling the newspaper headlines more than the actual prevention: stories of tons of good surplus food recovered and redistributed to the homeless people weigh much more than stories about the food waste prevention initiatives. That being said, it’s important to help the homeless and socially disadvantaged people with good surplus food – but it’s also as important to look at the root of the problem of food waste.

There is no need for a Food Waste Police – but there is a need for lasting action and impact, which would drastically reduce the amount of food losses and waste around the world. A need to address the problem at its root.

There is a need to map all the good food waste reduction initiatives though out the world, measure their actual effects on food losses and waste and the rest of the value chain – and create an action platform of best practice. And more importantly: create some visible results, visible food waste prevention initiatives and long lasting effects.

Imagine if businesses would not only reduce their food losses and waste, but also get new income possibilities. Image if the fight against food losses and waste would create more jobs – and more education opportunities. Image if the fight against food losses and waste would open up new possibilities for new green growth and new social innovations.

The prevention of food losses and waste is the key to improving our civilization’s future food supply.

And yes, is it possible. And it is achievable. And it is within our grasp.