On the sidelines of the event organised by Fiera Milano and TUTTOFOOD, FAO Deputy Director Maurizio Martina explains what has been done, what remains to be done and what the agri-food supply chain can do.
The meeting on the topic of food waste organised last month by Fiera Milano and TUTTOFOOD, in collaboration with Banco Alimentare, Municipality of Milan and FAO, represented an important moment of discussion and sharing. During the event, TUTTOFOOD met with Maurizio Martina, Deputy Director of FAO, for a qualified perspective on the progress being made.
Let’s start with one figure: today food losses and waste could feed over 1.26 billion people every year. And that’s exactly where Maurizio Martina starts: “It’s clear that a global corrective action is urgently needed. Italy is very active and at the forefront in this sector. In addition to having a large number of products to be donated for social purposes, with simplified procedures and tax breaks to make it easier and more accessible to both donate and benefit from food surplus, at the Ministry of Agriculture we have a fund that has been destined to finance innovative integrated or network projects, aimed at limiting waste and using food surplus for the needy, as well as promoting the production of reusable or easily recyclable packaging and financing national civil service projects.”
The key is supply chain integration
The key word is 'integration', in the sense of strengthening the collaboration between actors in the supply chain (producers, suppliers and distributors) in order to optimise production and supply planning, especially with a view to the goals of Agenda 2030. The Deputy Director continues: “It will be very difficult to ensure food security and improve nutrition worldwide by that deadline. 2022 was actually a very complicated year for global food security: the second year of the pandemic, conflicts, the climate with frequent extreme events, rising prices and international tensions. Although we made progress towards building a better world, unfortunately millions of people still cannot afford a healthy diet, thus being at high risk of food insecurity and malnutrition. But ending hunger is not only about production. Today we are producing enough food to feed the entire planet. For this reason zero hunger and zero waste agendas go hand in hand. This means better management of natural resources to ensure better and more efficient use of available outputs and inputs to produce more (and better), with less. Concretely: less water, more efficient use of fertilisers and reducing food losses and waste. When we waste food, it is good to remember that we also waste the resources used to produce it.”
The role of TUTTOFOOD
It’s exactly in this context that comes into play the role of an event such as TUTTOFOOD, capable of bringing together the entire supply chain. “The collaboration with TUTTOFOOD can help us on a very important aspect in the fight against food waste: the 'behavioural change' of individual consumers”, concludes Martina. “Just 'learning' how to shop, taking care of what and how much to buy, not throwing away but creatively reusing leftovers, or drawing on old recipes from culinary traditions, are small gestures that can make a big impact. In short, the common effort should be to learn to give food the value it deserves.”
In the next edition - at fieramilano from 8 to 11 May 2023 - TUTTOFOOD will propose once again the TUTTOGOOD initiative in collaboration with Banco Alimentare and other Third Sector organisations, including Pane Quotidiano, which over the years has allowed to recover tonnes of usable food at the end of the event days.
Find out today how to exhibit as a company or brand at TUTTOFOOD 2023 or visit as a professional operator.