One-third of the world’s food production ends up being wasted. Beyond being a major economic problem for companies and consumers, food waste is also an environmental problem with a social and humanitarian impact that directly affects the reputation and image of the sector and society.
Its important dimension is one of the main concerns of companies in the sector in Spain, so much so that in recent years they have managed to reduce it practically in its entirety, going from 1.78% of food waste in 2013 to 0.68% recorded in 2020.
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How companies in Spain have reduced food waste
From AECOC, the Association of Manufacturers and Distributors explained that these figures are the result of the plans put in place by companies to curb food waste. Although it has been reduced by more than half in recent years, the goal is to eradicate it completely. To achieve that, it is necessary to establish prevention and efficiency practices throughout the food chain; to maximize the use of the surplus produced throughout the different stages of the heat chain and finally, to raise awareness and sensitize society to this problem and the need to reduce it.
In 2020 in Spain, around 1% of the products were never marketed. This is due to several reasons such as deterioration of containers and packaging, errors in labeling, or the proximity of the maximum recommended date for consumption. In fact, three out of 10 of them are totally suitable for consumption but not for marketing, so they are donated to charities, while another 30% are destroyed because they cannot be reused. The 0.68% that ends up being wasted is of the total of products ready to be marketed.
With the aim of eradicating this problem, AECOC will hold the fourth week against food waste at the end of September. An initiative that will involve companies, administrations and citizens to raise awareness of the value of food and try to prevent food waste.
The event will involve companies from all links in the food chain, from producers and large distribution centers to consumer associations. In addition, the meeting will have the collaboration of different municipalities, which once again this year will play a key role in giving visibility to actions to raise public awareness of the importance of reducing food waste in Spain.
AECOC has also put on sale the solidarity book ‘Stars against waste’. All the money raised will go to FESBAL (Spanish Food Federation).
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First published in elEconomista.es, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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