Bangkok, Thailand – AsiaDHRRA was invited to join with more than 76 representatives from governments, private sector, academe, civil society organizations and producers’ organizations in Asia and Pacific to the Regional Consultation on Reducing Food Loss and Food Waste in Asia and Pacific Region. The consultation was organized by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization on 6-7 July 2015 at Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Bangkok, Thailand. AsiaDHRRA was represented by Mr. Florante Villas, Regional Program Manager.
Views from Mr. Villas is that food loss and food waste (FLW) is estimated at 1.3 billion tons annually. It is ironic that scarce resources are used to address food security and nutrition yet around 1/3 of food produced for human consumption is lost and wasted.
FLW can be minimized at the post-harvest, drying, storing, sorting, grading side where FL is the largest in the value chain. By complying with product quality standards in the modern value chains we will be able to minimize food losses and farmers benefit from higher prices. Products that can not pass quality requirements are still useful for household consumption or fed into the parallel traditional value chains that cater to local markets.
In the current practice, farmers sell their products “all in one” (best, good, mediocre and low quality grade) and get low prices because the risks are absorbed by the trader. The trader sorts out the product and benefit from the premium price for best grade, better price for the good grade that compensates for the low quality grade that is usually transformed into non-food use (or probably wasted). Thus, there are economic incentives to minimize food losses.
AsiaDHRRA commits to contribute to the over-all awareness building on the importance of reducing FLW and in policy advocacy for reducing food loss though public investments in road networks, drying, freezing and storing facilities and harmonized regulations on food product quality and food safety.