The campaign by the United Nations Environment Programme, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and recycling organisation WRAP, is designed to encourage people to become aware of the environmental impact of food choices and to empower them to make informed decisions.
Nestlé said it has been helping to avoid food waste by transforming perishable raw materials such as milk, coffee beans and cocoa into safe, value-added food products.
According to the FAO, about one third of global food production is either wasted or lost every year while one in six people worldwide go to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of five die daily from hunger.
“Over the last ten years we have almost halved the quantity of waste generated per kilo of product manufactured in our factories," said Pascal Gréverath, Nestlé’s Head of Environmental Sustainability.
“We are committed to further reducing food waste along the entire production chain from farm to consumers and beyond, as well as to raising awareness of the fact that the true value of food is often not reflected in its price.”
Meanwhile, FoodDrinkEurope, the trade body representing Europe’s food and drink industry, said the industry is taking steps towards tackling this major problem.
It cited an example of the Joint Stakeholder Declarationon Food Wastageentitled ‘Every Crumb Counts’, due to be launched on 25 June alongside the FoodDrinkEurope novel Food Wastage Toolkit, developed to help food manufacturers reduce and prevent food waste by sharing best practice and guidance throughout the industry.
The co-signatories to the Joint Declaration will pledge to work towards preventing edible food waste, and to promote a life-cycle approach to reducing wastage and proactively feeding into European, national and global solutions and initiatives.
FoodDrinkEurope President, Jesús Serafín Pérez, said: “Food waste presents a serious societal problem today that will but worsen in the future if we do not work together to find meaningful solutions to reduce it.”
He said the Joint Declaration and the Food Waste Toolkit are two practical examples of their commitment.
“We hope that with the active involvement of the membership in rolling out the Industry Toolkit, we will be a force for good in promoting best practice to tackle waste in the food processing industry.
“Meanwhile, with the support of other organisations as co-signatories of the Declaration, we hope that, together, we will be able to make a meaningful difference in tackling this problem head-on and motivate others to join us in our work.”
Sealed Air effort
Sealed Air said its SmartLife initiative focusses throughout the chain on food processors, retailers, food service and at home facilities to eliminate food waste.
Dr Ronald Cotterman, vice president of sustainability at Sealed Air Corporation said there is a growing need to address the most pressing issues facing food supply, including food safety, waste and access.
"With regard to food waste, we are more conscious of the impact our actions have on the environment yet our society throws away billions of tons of edible food each year that ends up in our landfills, releasing methane gas into the atmosphere.
"World Environment Day provides the platform to highlight our continued commitment and expertise across the supply chain to help our industry partners enhance their overall sustainability," added Dr Cotterman.