On September 22, Taiwan, Peru, and New Zealand jointly organized the 2016 APEC Workshop on Reduction of Food Waste at Retail and Consumer Levels in Piura, Peru, which received high recognition from other APEC member economies. After the successful conclusion of the workshop, relevant suggestions would be offered for member economies’ references, thus making significant contribution to food security in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Council of Agriculture (COA) stated that Taiwan proposed the APEC multi-year project Strengthening Public-Private Partnership to Reduce Food Losses in the Supply Chain in 2013, and the Workshop on Strengthening Public-Private Partnership to Reduce Food Waste at Retail and Consumer Levels was jointly staged by Taiwan, Peru and New Zealand, which is one of the scheduled events in the project’s fourth year agenda. More than 50 attendees from New Zealand, Canada, the Netherlands, Japan, United States, the Philippines, Peru, and Taiwan including 13 experts specializing in reducing food loss and waste from public and private sectors, as well as 16 APEC member economies, World Bank Group and APEC Secretariat participated in the event. During the workshop, Taiwan shared the achievements of the 2016 Expert Consultation on Food Loss and Waste at Retail and Consumer Levels conference hosted by Taiwan in July, and discussed the status quo and assessment methods of food loss and waste at retail and consumer levels in the Asia-Pacific region as well as optimal solutions for the public and private sectors to tackle the problem in question.
According to the study of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), one-third of the annual global food production get lost and wasted every year (approximately 1.3 billion tons), among which 46% (600 million tons) occur at the retail and consumer end. Food loss and waste in the APEC region account for 26% of global food loss and waste (670 million tons / year), in which 40% (267 million tons) is attributed to the retail and consumer end. Such amount of food waste is enough to fully supply one year worth of food demand from undernorished population (approximately 800 million) living in the APEC region. Therefore, reducing food losses and wastes at the retail and consumer end is vital to maintaining food security.
The COA explained that the workshop jointly organized by Taiwan, Peru and New Zealand served as an experience exchange platform regarding food loss and waste at the retail and consumer end for public and private sectors of the APEC economies, which has a significant meaning enhancing regional food security. Based on multi-year researches conducted by Taiwan, it is possible to increase the overall social welfare up to US$14.3 billion if APEC members could reduce 10% of food loss, which would bring down food price and boost regional food security. Through policy dialogue among experts, the workshop stimulates cooperation between public and private sectors in reducing food loss and waste, contributing to the wellbeing and food security in the Asia-Pacific region. It is safe to say that with the joint efforts of experts from public and private sectors, the key development goals of APEC Food Security Roadmap Towards 2020 and United Nations Millennium Project to eliminate poverty could be achieved effectively.
The COA reiterated that since the reduction of food loss was the focus of attention during the Food Security Week serial meetings in Peru this year, the APEC highly praised Taiwan’s contribution in holding the workshop. All relevant recommendations and suggestions tabled during the workshop would be made available to APEC member economies and submitted for consideration to be written into the declaration of 2016 APEC Food Security Ministerial Meeting, therefore making concrete contribution to food security in the Asia-Pacific region.