International Food Waste Coalition: a collaborative farm-to-fork approach against food waste throughout the food services value chain
October 15, 2015
With a value chain wide approach, from the field to the plate, Ardo, McCain, PepsiCo, SCA, Sodexo, Unilever Food Solutions and WWF have joined forces and their expertise to fight against food waste in the food services sector starting in Europe.
The ultimate objective of the founding members of the International Food Waste Coalition (IFWC) is to inspire other companies and organisations to adopt comprehensive food waste reduction programs.
Today, we live in a world where more than 30% of all the food that we produce is left uneaten, whilst more than 800 million people suffer from hunger and malnutrition. The World’s population is forecast to grow from 7 to 9.6 billion during the next 35 years, placing our natural resources under increasing pressure. It is therefore simply unacceptable to waste food that could be consumed. Because of its scale, the Food Service industry can play a big role in helping reduce food waste.
Studies show that food waste occurs at every phase of the industry value chain, from production to consumption (harvest, storage, transportation, preparation, service, consumption, etc.). The IWFC’s collaborative approach engages with each actor calling on them to take their responsibility in the fight against food waste and to adopt a global strategy; collectively the IFWC members have the largest geographical food services footprint in the world and have the potential to act at each step of the value chain.
Many organisations and initiatives already exist to fight against food waste. Where the IFWC aims to make a difference is to represent a total-value chain approach with focus on concrete actions to maximize the collective impact. The objective is to bring together the best of the existing approaches, to add some new elements, and to join them together across the length of the value chain.
The coalition is currently piloting a project in schools from different countries of the European Union. We are working to identify where food waste is happening in the different steps of the chain, to find efficient solutions, and at the end of the chain, to create awareness among students and teachers.
A final objective of the coalition is to consider legislation that assists or impedes the fight against food waste. For example, there is currently no uniform law in the European Union which allows transfer of liability between the donors and the recipients of food donations.
“We have a big ambition for the coalition. We truly believe that the collective organisation that we are creating will provide efficient solutions to the food waste challenge. A challenge which must not be underestimated, both in terms of the impact on the climate and its natural resources, and the big question of ‘how will we feed the world in 2050?’.”
- Damien Verdier, International Food Waste Coalition President, Sodexo Group Chief Strategy, Research & Innovation Officer, member of the Executive Committee
“Food waste is a serious issue and all of the actors of the value chain, from the growers to the final consumers, need to reflect on new opportunities for partnership and co-creation. Responsible food companies need to take a farm to fork approach to food production and actively seek to reduce waste at every stage of the supply chain.”
- Jean Bernou, CEO McCain Foods Continental Europe.
About the International Food Waste Coalition AISBL:
The International Food Waste Coalition (IFWC), a not-for-profit association under Belgian law and based in Brussels, was created the 28th April, 2015. The Coalition is self-funded by members’ subscriptions and grants.
With the largest geographic food services footprint in the world and over 1 million employees, the IFWC members are ready to reduce the food waste across the whole value chain.
For more information, visit the International Food Waste Coalition.