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News Story
19 May 2015

G20 leaders take action for sustainable food systems and food waste reduction

During a recent G20 meeting in Istanbul, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva praised the agricultural ministers of the member countries for making commitments to reduce food waste and promote sustainable food systems. The G20 ministers will, for example, launch a new platform for strengthening information sharing to deal with food waste in both the G20 and in low-income countries.

Food losses and waste throughout the food value chain is a major global issue, having implications for food security as well as for nutrition needs. Estimates show that about one third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally – this adds up to a total of 1.3 billion tonnes per year. The G20 ministers describe it as “a global problem of enormous economic, environmental and societal significance”.

Through trade and investment decisions and policies, the G20 members have a major global influence on food security and nutrition. It is therefore promising that they are recognising the need to promote sustainable and resilient food systems that are able to prevent food wastage at both production and consumption levels, assist in combatting climate change and provide decent employment for rural communities.

The G20 ministers discussed the new food waste platform together with FAO, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and other international organisations. In collaboration with the G20 Development Working Group, the agricultural ministers will include these recommendations in a G20 action plan to be presented at the Antalya Leaders’ Summit in November this year. 

Besides taking action for waste reduction and sustainable food systems, the ministers have also expressed commitments to improve market transparency, reduce market uncertainties and ensure responsible investments. Instruments such as the “Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests in the Context of National Food Security” and the “Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems” were particularly highlighted.

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