St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda: Antigua and Barbuda celebrated the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste 2023 on September 29, 2023 (Friday). In this regard, the Antigua Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Barbuda Affairs explained the importance of Food Loss and Wastage.
The Ministry took to its official social media (Facebook) handle to elaborate on the significance. While elaborating on the theme of this year, it mentioned that the day will be marked under the “Reducing food loss and waste: Taking Action to Transform Food Systems” theme.
According to the Ministry, the day is specifically dedicated to recognising and highlighting the fundamental role played by sustainable food production. It further emphasised that food this day holds immense importance in promoting food security and nutrition.
The Ministry furthermore shared an official statement by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. The statement explained, “Between six hundred and ninety-one (691) million people to seven hundred and eighty-three (783) million people faced hunger in 2022, with a mid-range of seven hundred and thirty-five (735) million”.
It added, “While hunger and food security continue, an estimated thirteen percent (13%) of the world’s food is lost in the supply chain from post-harvest prior to retail with a further seventeen percent (17%) of food is wasted in households, food services and retail,” as per the UNEP, 2021.
Additionally, it shared the importance of avoiding food wastage. It also shared some tips through which it can be avoided. The shared tips are as follows:
– Avoid purchasing what is not needed.
– Create a shopping list when you go out to a supermarket or a grocery shop.
– Think twice before throwing food out.
The Ministry of Agriculture of Antigua further highlighted that if food loss and wastage are avoided, then agri-food systems will be improved. Practising proper techniques can help in achieving food security, food safety and food quality, delivering every possible nutritional outcome.
Furthermore, it highlighted about the food crisis that prevailed during the COVID-19 pandemic. It stated that vulnerabilities in the food systems were heightened, and the need to remedy food loss and waste must be discovered – both nationally and internationally.
“We must be cognizant of the fact that lack of food, hunger and malnutrition affect every country in the world, and we are to be blamed for this ordeal. The onus is, therefore, ours to mitigate and be the source of the solution,” the Agricultural Ministry of Antigua and Barbuda stated.
International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste:
The International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste (IDAFLW) is a day marked under the guidance of the United Nations (UN). The day is globally celebrated on September 29 every year. This year, the world will celebrate the fourth (4th) IDAFLW.
According to the UN, the aim behind celebrating the day is to raise awareness about the importance of food loss and waste issues. The day also promotes global efforts towards resolving it.
It is to be noted that the day is co-convened by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN.