Food is lost or wasted throughout the supply chain, from the farm/production stage down to the consumption stage. Each actor along the supply chain incurs or concedes some level of loss/waste. Food Losses and Waste (FLW) impact food security and nutrition in three ways: reduction of global and local availability of food; a negative impact on food access, for those who face FLW-related economic and income losses, and for consumers due to the contribution of FLW to tightening the food market and raising prices of food; a longer-term effect on food security results from the unsustainable use of natural resources on which the future production of food depends. That is why: reduction of FLW is an important strategy to ensure food and nutritional security in efficient and sustainable food systems; it is an urgent need for a concerted effort at national, regional, and global levels to reduce FLW, being recognized this importance of reducing FLW (a priority agenda for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization – FAO) in achieving sustainable development among the newly agreed sustainable development goals by the United Nations (SDGs), particularly SDG 12 (Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns; among the set targets under SDG 12 is to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses by 2030). European Retail Academy let us know that the University of Nairobi joined the network of the European Retail Academy (ERA), and as one of its initiatives ERA will promote the Total Supply Conference to fight Food Waste, which will be organized by the World Food Preservation Center next year, in March 2017.
ERA also underlined that it has to be reminded that: at the United Nations HQ in Nairobi also Prof. Dr. Klaus Toepfer had worked for several years; Prof. Dr. Klaus Toepfer is the well-known former Federal German Minister for Environment, former director of the United Nations Environment Program UNEP and initiator of the Kyoto Protocol; Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier supports his initiatives since the late 80s of the last century. Professor Bernd Hallier began many years ago a fruitful collaboration with the prestigious Professor Klaus Toepfer, and with Dr. Angela Merkel (today Chancellor of the Federal Republic, and who pushed “environment” to become a high political issue during the EU-Presidency of Germany, in 2007). It is also worth mentioning the distinguished personalities who have been honored by ERA in the last four years: John L. Stanton, Léon F. Wegnez, Romano Prodi, Klaus Toepfer.
Let us also remember that on June 25, 2015, Professor Ovidiu Folcuţ, Rector of the Romanian-American University (RAU) received a visit from Professor Bernd Hallier. On this occasion, Professor Hallier introduced the challenging volume “Food Waste Management” (based on an EU-project FORWARD), the reduction of food waste being seen as an important lever for achieving global food security, freeing up finite resources for other uses, diminishing environmental risks and avoiding financial losses (not forgetting to suggest from the very beginning the distinction between “food loss” and “food waste”). It was underlined, among others, that: there are substantial losses along the stages of the food chain (agricultural production, post-harvest handling and storage, processing and packaging, distribution, and consumption); the reduction of food losses is seen as an important starting point for achieving global food security, freeing up finite resources for other uses, diminishing environmental risks and avoiding financial losses.