One third of the food produced in the world for human consumption is lost or wasted every year. Reducing that food loss and waste is seen as a critical global challenge in the fight to reduce hunger, protect the environment and grow economic opportunity by NGOs such as the World Bank, UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and business groups.
BUSINESS NEED – The UN FAO reports that annual 1.3 billon tonnes of food loss and waste negatively impacts the ability to feed the needy. Nearly 800 million people go hungry every day as a result. Other aspects include billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere as well as extensive water waste. Reducing the loss and waste is a global priority.
SOLUTION – One way to help is offered by a global initiative by Enactus, an international non-profit organization working with leaders in business and higher education to mobilize university students to make a difference in their communities. Called 1 Race 2 End Waste, the program enlists student teams in 36 countries to develop projects to reduce food loss and waste.
BENEFITS – Tom Gorman, Brambles Ltd. CEO and an Enactus Board Member, attests to the long history of successful engagement of Enactus students on social and economic issues by working with communities to create new enterprises that serve the wellbeing of others. He believes the students will play an important role in reaching people affected by negative consequences of food loss and waste – one of the most important issues facing the planet.
One third of food produced in the world for human consumption is lost or wasted
Enactus Board Member and Brambles Limited Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Tom Gorman today announced the launch of a global initiative, 1 Race 2 End Waste, to reduce food loss and waste in developing as well as developed countries.
Enactus is an international Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) dedicated to inspiring students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action. Brambles is a supply-chain logistics company operating in more than 60 countries, primarily through the CHEP and IFCO brands.
Mr. Gorman said, “Food loss and waste are recognized by NGOs, such as the World Bank and the United Nations FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), and by business organizations, such as the Consumer Goods Forum, as critical challenges in the fight to reduce hunger, protect the environment and grow economic opportunity.”
Mr. Gorman added, “Enactus students bring a long history of successful engagement on social and economic issues by working with communities to create new enterprises that serve the wellbeing of others. We believe that the students will play an important role, that of reaching people who are facing the negative consequences of food loss and waste – one of the most important issues facing the planet.”
During the announcement, Mr. Gorman said, “According to United Nations FAO, the 1.3 billion tonnes of food loss and waste negatively impacts the ability to feed a growing population and the nearly 800 million people that go hungry every day.”
FAO reports that the value of food lost or wasted annually around the globe – some one-third of the food produced or 1.3 billion tonnes – is estimated at US$1 trillion. This food loss and waste also results in:
- 3.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases emitted into the planet's atmosphere per year. If food waste was a country, it would be the third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases globally after China and the US.
- A global water footprint of food wastage higher than that of any country, whether a temperate country, with relatively large water use, or a large country such as India or China.
At the announcement, students from Brazil, Kenya and Morocco joined the call for action.
Vitor Vannucchi Ungari from the University of São Paulo said, “Enactus students can get closest to where the problem of food loss and waste is having the most negative impact – in small communities in developing countries.”
According to Patrick Gichohi from Kenya’s Eldoret University, “It is a big mission. Each year over 1.5 million people are food insecure in Kenya and the wasted and lost food is valued at 40 million Kenya shillings. It is not only a big mission, but it is critical to the future of my country.”
Nassima Belkadi of Morocco’s Mohammedia School of Engineers said, “Enactus students have successfully created projects that are scalable across countries and continents. We believe that as we at Enactus increase our focus on food loss and waste, we can continue this trend. We are excited about working with NGOs, business and most important communities to address food loss and waste.”
Enactus CEO, Alvin Rohrs, applauded the leadership of the Enactus Worldwide Board of Directors chaired by Kees Kruythoff, President North America, Unilever. “Our board recognizes the importance of all sectors of society taking a stand against food waste and loss and we look forward to seeing the efforts of the Enactus students as they work to find scalable solutions,” he commented.
“The 1 Race 2 End Waste will be launched at the Enactus World Cup, a gathering of students from 36 countries and international business leaders, in Toronto September 28-30. The thousands of Enactus teams in 36 countries will have the opportunity to develop projects that would reduce food loss and waste,” Mr. Rohrs added.