Harsimrat Kaur Badal to speak at the Save Food Congress on 4 May 2017

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Food Congress
Harsimrat Kaur Badal

The third edition of the Save Food initiative will take place alongside the interpack exhibition in Dusseldorf in May. At the international Save Food Congress on 4 May 2017, speakers from business, science, government and civil society will get together to shed some light on the various facets of the food waste problem. India will be a focal theme this year. In addition to a talk delivered by the Indian Minister of Food Processing Industries, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, a new Save Food study will be presented that has analyzed food losses in India using research case studies. Our readers may recall that some of the initial findings of the food waste research pertaining to several crops and milk in the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh were presented at the Packaging, Design, Innovation and Technology conference in Mumbai on 17 December 2016.

Minister Badal’s talk at the Save Food Congress is titled, ‘Promoting industry and trade – Harvesting and processing basic foodstuffs in India.’ The presentation by Robert van Otterdijk, Agro-Industry Officer, Nutrition and Food Systems Division (ESN), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is titled, ‘Fighting food loss – Case studies from India.’ Other presentations and panels will discuss the global food losses and waste together with their social, commercial and industrial solutions.

As a Special Forum operated by the trade fair, the Innovationparc will again be entirely dedicated to the Save Food theme. Here partners and members of the Save Food Initiative will present their studies as well as sector- or companyspecific initiatives in terms of ideas and appropriate technologies.

Global food losses and food waste
An overview of the key findings of the study on global food losses and wastage are explained by Dr. Sonesson (SIK):

Roughly one-third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year—approximately 1.3 billion tons—gets lost or wasted.

Every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food (222 million tons) as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tons).

The amount of food lost or wasted every year is equivalent to more than half of the world’s annual cereals crop (2.3 billion tons in 2009/2010).

Food loss and waste also amount to a major squandering of resources, including water, land, energy, labor and capital and needlessly produce greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to global warming and climate change.

In developing countries food waste and losses occur mainly at early stages of the food value chain and can be traced back to financial, managerial and technical constraints in harvesting techniques as well as storage—and cooling facilities. Thus, a strengthening of the supply chain through support to farmers and investments in infrastructure, transportation as well as the appropriate expansion of the food processing and packaging industry could help to reduce the amount of food loss and waste.

In medium- and high-income countries, food is wasted and lost mainly at later stages in the supply chain. Differing from the situation in developing countries, the behavior of consumers plays a large role in industrialized countries. Moreover, the study identified a lacking coordination between actors in the supply chain as a contributing factor. Farmer-buyer agreements can be helpful to increase the level of coordination. Additionally, raising awareness among industries, retailers and consumers as well as finding beneficial use of food that is presently thrown away are useful measures to decrease the amount of losses and waste.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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