Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists of G20 collaboration initiative on Food Losses and Waste
Since the establishment of the new Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists of G20 (MACS-G20) Food Loss and Waste Initiative in 2015, Germany took over leadership for further joint activities. First step was the establishment of an appropriate web portal with information about current research activities, latest innovations and available scientific expertise. In parallel, a kick-off workshop was organised and the position for a coordinator was established at Thünen-Institute of Market Analysis in June 2017 in order to facilitate international cooperation towards Food Loss and Waste Prevention.
According to estimations carried out by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) the global edible food losses and waste summarise up to 1.3 billion tons per year. Resources which are used for food production such as seeds, agricultural area, fertilisers, fuel or manpower are unnecessary expended. No benefit can be opposed to the food production related negative environmental impacts as e.g. overfertilisation, water shortage, greenhouse gas emissions). Most of the globally wasted food is disposed of directly to landfills and causes generation of methane due to the present anaerobic conditions (no presence of oxygen). Methane is an relevant greenhouse gas and contributes significantly to global climate change.
Beside the ecological consequences one has to consider also economic and social disadvantages due to wastage of food (such as increasing food prices, people with no access to food).
Due to this, food losses and waste should be tackled along the entire food supply chain in order to prevent its generation. Aim of the Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists of G20 collaboration initiative on Food Losses and Waste is to concentrate the research and political consulting capacities in order to mobilise a noticeable reduction of food losses and waste on a global scale.
Focus group of the initiative are the members of MACS-G20 group which are supported in conducting food loss and waste prevention measures. Member states of the G20 are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Great Britain, the USA as well as the European Union. In addition to the members also guests attend the meetings. This is Spain and the following international organisations: Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI), International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEM), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), The Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation (GFAR), Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN), International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Wheat Initiative.
The thereby enabled and implemented prevention measures should have an impact on various number of different stakeholders along the food supply chain on a global scale.
First step was to establish a global platform for experts and projects related to food loss and waste available for international researchers´ profiles and corresponding project results. The platform offers an overview of completed and current Food Loss and Waste research as well as the leading experts/institutions behind. That information can be used by interested stakeholders to find and approach international contact persons for planned research and implementation projects. In addition, the platform indicates research gaps which can be used for tailor-made national and international research funding schemes avoiding inefficiencies.
The next step for enhancing the initiative was a kick-off meeting held from June 20th to 22nd 2017 in Berlin. Participants from 17 countries as well as from FAO, OECD and EU-Commission presented and discussed success stories, considerable barriers, upcoming challenges as well as transferability to other countries. The conclusions from the workshop will be used to develop the initiative´s working schedule for the next four years.
In order to coordinate the initiative´s activities in a proper way, Thünen-Institute for Market Analysis established and filled a new position in mid of June 2017. Felicitas Schneider act as contact person for the initiative for the next four years.
kick-off meeting from June 20th to 22nd 2017 in Berlin (english only)
6.2017 - 5.2021