Food waste is not only an economic and environmental drain – it’s just plain uncivilized, says the director of the Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO). SAGO, under the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, is launching a national initiative to reduce food waste, including a food waste study, according to Al-Jazeerah (via Saudi Gazette).
The five-phase initiative will focus on reducing food waste primarily in terms of wheat, rice, dates, fruits, vegetables, and red and white meat. Phase one will see Prince Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University conduct a field study across 27 cities to measure the levels of food waste and the subsequent economic losses. The study will then compare food waste in the Kingdom and compare it to other countries both in the region and around the world.
SAGO will also educate private sector stakeholders on best practices to reduce food waste and work on developing a legislative framework to support legislation. Supply chain stakeholders will be targeted to improve reuse and recycling, as well.
Programs to eradicate food waste have bloomed all over the world, at government, NGO, and corporate levels. Reducing food waste is one of the UN’s sustainable development goals, which targets a 50% cut in the per capita global food waste by 2030. The UN estimates that global food loss and waste causes about $940 billion a year in economic losses,
Last spring, a report from Champions 12.3 – a coalition of businesses, government officials and NGOs – found that companies are saving $14 in operating costs for every $1 they invest in reducing food waste.