Tesco leads new food-waste fighting coalition
Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis will chair a new food waste reduction coalition, launched Thursday at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
The coalition – known as Champions 12.3 – is made up of 30 government, business and civil society leaders from around the globe, including Nestle chief executive Paul Bulcke, WRAP chief executive Liz Goodwin and Unilever CEO Paul Polman.
The group’s stated goal is to accelerate progress towards UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 – halving food waste per capita and reducing food losses by 2030.
Nearly 1/3 of all food is lost or wasted globally, costing $940bn per year and accounting for around 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The new coalition said in its launch statement: “Reducing food loss and waste can be a triple win: It can save money for farmers, companies, and households; wasting less can feed more people; and reductions can alleviate pressure on climate, water, and land resources.”
The group’s efforts will include sharing successful food loss and waste reduction strategies; communicating the importance of waste reduction and advocating for more innovation, greater investment, better information, and increased capacity to reduce food loss and waste.
“Reducing food loss and waste is a significant global challenge and it’s very important that business plays its part,” said Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis.
“At Tesco, we’re committed to tackling food waste not only in our own operations but also through strong and effective partnerships with our suppliers and by helping our customers reduce waste and save money. This is an opportunity for businesses to work together and make a real difference to Target 12.3.”
UNEP executive director and Co-Chair of Champions 12.3 Achim Steiner said that better data and reporting would be needed to track progress towards to 2030 targets.
He added: “I encourage all Champions to contribute to measuring food waste in their organizations and countries in order to help achieve an SDG target crucial to both food security and fighting hunger, as well as climate change.”
Paul Polman commented: “It cannot be right that almost a billion people suffer food insecurity while we waste a third of the food produced. The Champions 12.3 coalition will drive collective action on food loss, waste and associated greenhouse gas emissions to meet the ambition set out in the SDGs and Paris Agreement in 2015.”
Thursday’s announcement coincided with the launch of The Rockefeller Foundation’s new YieldWise initiative, a seven-year, $130 million commitment, which also aims to halve food loss and waste globally. The Foundation’s President, Dr. Judith Rodin, is also a Champion (Scroll down for video).
The Rockefeller Foundation has already begun working with private sector partners in Africa, including Coca-Cola and mango farmers in Kenya, and the West African conglomerate Dangote Group for its tomato orders in Nigeria, the New York Times reported.
A key part of the initiative will be the development of secondary markets for ugly fruit and veg, similar to the ranges recently introduced in various UK supermarkets.
Earlier this week, the Scottish Government launched a food waste reduction scheme, which will see restaurant-goers offered doggy-bags to take home their leftovers. The scheme is expected to cut waste by up to 40%.