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World Environment Day to focus on food waste

31 May 2013, 21:40

Nairobi - The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said on Friday that this year's World Environment Day (WED) will focus on ways of reducing food waste as the agency plans a series of events across the globe to create awareness.

The UN environmental agency said the main event will center on its campaign Think.Eat.Save Reduce Your Foodprint, which is aimed at slashing food waste.

"The new campaign has already made inroads into spreading the message that every individual and organization can make a difference, and World Environment Day aims to further reinforce this idea," UNEP said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

About one-third of all food produced globally, worth around 1 trillion U.S. dollars, gets lost or wasted in food production and consumption systems, according to data released by FAO recently.

Food loss occurs mostly at the production stages, such as harvesting, processing and distribution, while food waste typically takes place at the retailer and consumer end of the food- supply chain.

"This unconsumed food, much of which can be cut out through simple measures, wastes both the energy put into growing it and the fuel spent on transporting produce across vast distances," the statement said.

UNEP has teamed up with FAO to launch the campaign in support of the SAVE FOOD Initiative to reduce food loss and waste along the entire chain of food production and consumption.

UNEP said hundreds of thousands of people are gearing up across the globe to take part in WED which is the biggest and most widely celebrated global day for positive environmental action.

The Think, Eat, Save, Reduce Your Foodprint campaign was launched in Geneva on Jan. 22 and make fresh appeal to consumers and retailers to embrace innovative measures that could dramatically reduce food waste at all levels.

In Kenya, more than 2,000 volunteers from Action Green for Trade and Sustainable Development (AGTSD) will reach supermarkets, restaurants and hotels with the message that reducing food waste and loss could have a significant impact on world hunger levels.

- Xinhua

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