European Retail Academy (ERA) informed us of the success of the first All African Congress and Exhibition about the future management of Postharvest/Food Losses that attracted over 600 participants from more than 60 countries to come to Nairobi, Kenya! 71 studies were shown in different formats (total audience or special workshops) over the three Conference days. Also field excursions were offered in an additional day.
On this special occasion, Prof. Dr. Bernd Hallier presented his thoughts for a Global House of Harmony based on Economics, Ecology and Ethics demanding for Africa more Fair Trade and investment to introduce technologies especially for SMEs. Eliminating the postharvest losses could result in the fact that Africa is able to feed Africa sufficiently. But postharvest losses are also partly the result of problems at the pre-farm-gate: therefore there is a Total Supply Chain Responsibility from farm to fork! Last but not least Africa has to be understood by its history – making the difference to continents like America, Asia or Europe (see also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeEbR8BhW3U&feature=youtu.be ).
The University of Nairobi, which promoted this special event, joined the network of the European Retail Academy last year. The Innovation Hall of the University of Nairobi hosted an Art vernissage on the occasion of the above mentioned Congress (from Germany, for instance, two IKV artists attended this vernissage, Marie-Christin Hallier and Barbara Hanebuth).
It is well-known that: 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 incuring or conceding 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).
Allow us also remember with great pleasure the last meeting between Professor Ovidiu Folcuţ, Rector of the Romanian-American University (RAU) and 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”). On that occasion, it was underlined, among other aspects, 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.