Food waste is paradoxical in our times; over one third of the food produced is lost. If it were possible to recuperate what is lost or thrown away, it would be possible to feed a major portion of the world’s current population”. This was Minister for Foreign Affairs Emma Bonino’s message for World Food Day, speaking at the conclusion of today’s conference “Global losses and waste: from reduction to prevention for a sustainable system”, held at FAO headquarters in Rome. Other conference participants included health and environment ministers Beatrice Lorenzin and Andrea Orlando, in addition to heads of the Rome-based UN organizations José Graziano Da Silva (FAO), Ertharin Cousin (WFP) and Kanayo Nwanze (IFAD).
Bonino cites EXPO dedicated to nutrition as contribution to ideas
The broad context of global nutrition embraces not only the struggle against hunger in poor countries, since the theme of “proper nutrition involves all nations, including ours”, was Minister Bonino’s premise, according to which “loss and waste are a problem that concerns countries with low and medium income levels and developed nations, where waste takes place for the most part at the consumption stage; the resulting economic impact is made even more unacceptable by the waste of natural resources (water, land, energy) and the CO2 emissions necessary to produce the food unused and later disposed of”. On the theme of malnutrition, Minister Bonino underscored that “in many countries the problem is not a lack of food but of the technologies for preserving it”, therefore it is necessary “to ensure access to food that can last over time and make sure it doesn’t cost too much”. “Loss and waste are issues that touch all of us”, the Minister stressed, expressing the hope that “the 2015 EXPO, dedicated to sustainable nutrition of the planet, will make not only an architectural mark but also an important contribution of ideas”.
Food security a government priority, says Bonino
“As for Italy”, the minister remarked, “food security is one of the government’s priorities, not only in view of the upcoming 2015 EXPO, but also as a result of the Rome location of the UN food agency headquarters and the impetus that comes from efforts to unite producers and consumers”. Along the same lines, Italy intends to make its contribution to the Zero Hunger Challenge launched by the UN S-G during the Rio +20 Conference and the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition, and being organised by FAO and WHO for 2014 in Rome, for which a preparatory event will be held in November, the minister announced.
A billion people in the world are still going hungry, says Pistelli
The international community’s first challenge is “the one billion people is the world still going hungry”, despite the fact that today “the planet is capable of producing food for everyone”, was the alarm launched by Deputy Minister Lapo Pistelli as he opened the FAO conference. According to Pistelli, “distributing resources without waste could mean feeding over 3 billion people”, but in order to do this what is needed is “a development model founded on economic inclusion and social and environmental sustainability within the framework of the rule of law”. And Italy, the Deputy Minister added, “offers itself as a point of reference for this reflection”.