Cool Chain Pleads for Closer Shipper Cooperation on Food Wastage

Combatting global food wastage within the cool chain is what the Cool Chain Association is asking for through a closer cooperation with shippers.
Delegates at the Cool Chain Association Perishable summit give their pledge.

Food wastage here, starving there. A blatant injustice  -  picture: UBA
Food wastage here, starving there. A blatant injustice - picture: UBA

The summit meeting which was held in Barcelona, Spain last week had a central theme: how to best combat global food wastage in the cool chain.

The message sent was that there should be a much closer collaboration with shippers in order to achieve much less wastage.
It has been estimated that almost a third of all foodstuffs produced each year, equivalent to 1.3 billion tonnes, is wasted, damaged or lost, which amounts to an additional cost of almost US$1 trillion within the supply chain.

A staggering and scandalous amount cost-wise as well as on foodstuffs.
The figures shown above must have shocked the delegates at the CCA meet into action as it seems that they all were in agreement of looking for a common aim to cut down wastage by around 10 percent within the coming nine to ten years.

Information posted by the CCA management  shows that if they were able to achieve the above, then at least 250,000 tons or the equivalent of US$1 billion would be saved. Apart from that, at least one million tons fewer on CO2 emissions would also be achieved.

How to do it?
All were in agreement that this move is of utmost importance - however, there is no easy answer or formula on the table as to how one should or could get the process moving.
Sebastian Scholte, CCA’s chairman stated that “food wastage is a major issue and one which we must focus on as an industry. Working together, we can find ways to fight back and make a difference, whilst at the same time adding value to the supply chain.”

The wastage becomes more apparent when one looks at the figures.
For example, the 2015 report which showed that alone in the United States, US$2120 million is spent on producing foodstuffs and processing them along with transporting and getting rid of the same, which is never to be consumed.
That alone represent just over one percent of the annual U.S. GDP.
The unused, uneaten foodstuffs are either thrown into large wastage dumps or even not harvested by farmers because there is no demand.

So far, no answer, but a collective commitment to tackle the problem and come up with viable solutions.
The question remains - who is going to take the lead within the cool-chain to ensure the momentum does not falter?
Surely, the Cool Chain Association, which does an admirable job, needs heavy support from local governments and not be left to do it alone.

John Mc Donagh

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