The International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste was established by a resolution of the UN General Assembly in December 2019 and it was decided to be celebrated every year on 29 September, starting in 2020.
Its main goal is to bring together individuals, organisations, businesses and governments around the world to help reduce food loss and waste. Everyone can contribute to the common cause by treating their nutritional needs more carefully (they can stop buying unnecessary food, store food properly, make the most of food waste, etc.), but concerted action by authorities, businesses and organisations is needed to successfully solve the problem globally.
Moreover, food production has emerged as one of the biggest threats to the environment today, contributing among other things to the climate crisis. By 2030, food loss and waste should be reduced by 50%, according to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. But the European Union needs to take significant steps to achieve this, as its progress has so far been slow, according to a joint report by WWF and UK-based WRAP.
The critical juncture the planet has reached requires all of us to take food waste seriously and take action! That’s where our company, Bring it Back, comes in, to fill this gap between stores and consumers and give a second chance to fresh food that wouldn’t be consumed. Our goal is to significantly reduce or, why not, eliminate food waste in Greece. All this while helping Business owners to recoup some of their food costs and Consumers to enjoy quality fresh food at a discounted price. Everyone benefits and wins, and most of all the environment, as resources are fully utilised and waste is reduced.
Food waste in numbers, according to WWF
- 1 in 3 food waste, 1.3 billion tonnes of food.
- 30% of the fruit and vegetables produced are rejected because of their appearance.
- Countries that measure food waste represent only 12% of the world’s population.
- 28% of rural areas are cultivated to produce food that is simply wasted.
- 88 million tonnes of food end up in the garbage.
- Every person in the EU throws away 173 kg of food per year.
- 10% of the rejection is related to the indicated expiry date.
Greece 3rd in the world in food waste
Greece, unfortunately, is a global leader, ranking third among the most food-wasting countries.
The classic cant that our parents used to say and we tell our children, “the children in Africa are hungry, eat all your food”, now has a real basis. As of course the classic answer “it doesn’t matter because the kid won’t eat it in Africa” is also valid. It is, however, a classic demonstration of the wisdom of the people, because both food waste and hunger are a reality in Africa in the 21st century.
Greece, according to UN data, is third on the list of countries that waste the most food in the world. At the same time ELSTAT, with data for 2020, reported that 1.35 million people in the country face food insecurity.
What is food waste?
Food waste refers to the amounts of food we throw away – leftovers and expired food, but also the food lost in the production, transport, storage and sale process, which is not a negligible amount.
The majority of lost food is found in households according to statistics. EU figures give about half of the total food waste in households. Catering services account for 10% of the total, for example. The rest is lost in the production and supply chain.
Why is food waste a problem?
Food waste not only contributes to the loss of valuable and often limited resources such as water, soil or energy, it also contributes to climate change. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), for every kilogram of food produced, 4.5 kg of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere.
Another important factor is the huge number of undernourished people on the planet, reaching 793 million in the pre-covid period. In Europe alone, the number of people who in 2014 were unable to have a quality meal every other day reached 55 million (9.6% of the EU population).
So let’s all work together for a world without food waste!
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