The Fight Against Food Waste: Everybody's Responsibility from Farm to Fork

The Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum on "The Future of Growth - Economic Values and the Media", dedicated a workshop on the worlds food waste problem.  The Event, “The Fight Against Food Waste: Everybody's Responsibility from Farm to Fork”, hosted by German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection, showed how many precious foodstuffs just end  up in the bin. In Germany about 82 kilos of food is wasted per capita, that translates into 6.7 t per year. Each person throws 230 € per year away, according to a study conducted by the University of Stuttgart.

Food waste happens everywhere: in the agricultural sector, industry, wholesale trade, bakeries and supermarkets, in restaurants and canteens. Last but not least, food is wasted in many households. In Germany, some 11 million tons of food end up in the bin every year. That amounts to 275,000 truckloads. Not all, but a part of this waste, could be avoided.

Food waste has serious consequences. Not only does it needlessly consume resources, such as water, energy and arable land; unnecessary production and transportation of foodstuffs place additional strain on the environment. An estimated 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions are linked to people's eating habits.

Foodstuffs that end up in the garbage also have an impact on food prices and in turn on the global food situation. The more we waste, the higher the demand on the global market, which drives up prices.

To effectively reduce the amount of food waste in Germany, the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) launched an initiative called “Too good for the bin” in spring 2012. Awareness-raising activities associated with the campaign have their focus where food waste is greatest: in private households. But when all is said and done, reducing food waste must be a joint effort along the entire chain – from farm to fork.  

This workshop will focus on the following questions: Which strategies are there for the sustainable production and consumption of foodstuffs? What type of framework must policy-makers create to enhance public appreciation of food as an essential yet precious part of people's daily lives in businesses and in private households?

For further information, see the following link.

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