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News | 2019-06-27

Chinese companies strive to halve food waste

The platform Save 12.3 that was launched last year, has started a campaign to reduce food waste in China. More than 500 Chinese catering companies and restaurants support this initiative aimed at halving food waste by 2030.

– It is amazing to see such a demonstration of strength around this issue. There is so much to be gained by cutting down on food waste, not only from a climate and environmental perspective but also financially. That this is happening in a country like China, of course, bodes well for an even greater potential impact, says Åsa Stenmarck at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute. In the fall of 2018, under the auspices of the EU Refresh project, IVL launched a platform in China focused on food waste. The initiative is called “Save 12.3”, a name that links to UN Sustainability Goal number 12, that seeks to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns, and sub-target three, that targets to halve global food waste by 2030. The platform strives to increase awareness around food waste and facilitate food waste reduction efforts at all levels of the food chain through knowledge exchange and collaboration. The next step sees the launch of a campaign targeting food waste in restaurants and the retail trade. At a big event held in Shanghai last spring that gathered over 1 000 participants, a voluntary action plan for reducing food waste, supported by over 500 food and catering companies was announced. This initiative is supported by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization FAO, the UN Environment Program UNEP, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute and the EU Refresh project. This means that companies must not only put their own house in order but also work together to develop networks to reduce food waste. According to the action plan, they are tasked with participating in various educational activities to increase awareness and knowledge around food waste as well as promoting positive changes in consumer behaviour. They are also charged with participating actively in national and international research and exchange activities. For more information, please contact: Åsa Stenmarck, asa.stenmarck@ivl.se, +46 (0)10-788 65 66 The EU Refresh project brings together universities, research institutes, consumer organizations and companies from twelve European countries and China to leverage a holistic approach to food waste issues. The project focuses on research to reveal the driving forces behind food waste and to support better decision-making, but will also develop technological innovations to better utilize food waste within the food industry and design various information platforms and support tools. More about Refresh can be found on the project website.  

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