The first SAVE FOOD Conference took place during the recent staging of IPACK-IMA, May 29 – June 1 in Milan, Italy. Speakers from major groups and small companies, associations and NGOs addressed the issue of international food waste and loss from different angles.
The SAVE FOOD Initiative is a cooperation between the world food program of the United Nations, FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization), the United Nations’ Environment Program (UNEP) and Messe Düsseldorf launched to fight worldwide food loss and waste.
After Enrico Aureli, President of the Italian Machinery Manufacturers’ Association UCIMA, and Bernd Jablonowski, officially opened the Conference, the first session began with a lecture by Alberto Vacchi, President of the Ima Group. This company is highly committed to the SAVE FOOD Initiative and has co-financed FAO studies in Africa among other activities.
Stefan Glimm, Senior Executive Advisor at Flexible Packaging Europe, highlighted the role of packaging as a tool for reducing food loss and waste.
Sonja Mattfeld, Partner & Regional Director East Africa, reported about the SAVE FOOD mango project, which could serve as a blueprint for similar businesses in other regions of the world.
FAO Agro-Industry Officer Robert van Otterdijk, who has been involved with this topic at the Food and Agricultural Organisation since the beginning, focused on the role of the private sector in fighting food waste and loss on a national level.
Following the presentation by Parag Gupta, Joint Secretary at the Indian Ministry for Food Processing, Fabio Moioli, Head of Consulting and Service at Microsoft, explained the role of technology, especially machine learning, cloud computing, drones and networks and their potential contribution to solving problems.
The conference concluded with the lecture by Rahel Moges, founder of Ethiogreen, an Ethiopian company from the food sector, who shared her practical experiences.
“As an industry hotspot for food processing and packaging, IPACK-IMA provides the ideal setting for exchange and a solutions-oriented discussion among experts as part of a SAVE FOOD Conference,” said Bernd Jablonowski, responsible for SAVE FOOD and Global Portfolio Director Processing and Packaging at Messe Düsseldorf.
SAVE FOOD seeks to network between the relevant players in business, politics and research, stimulating dialogue and help to find solutions along the food value-added chain. Another goal is to initiate and promote own SAVE FOOD projects with the support of the industry. In May 2011, SAVE FOOD was launched with an international congress and exhibition as part of interpack, the world’s leading trade fair for the packaging sector and associated processing industry. More information at www.save-food.org