A more global UNEP targets food waste

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Governments called for the transformation of the existing Governing council of UNEP (the UN Environment Programme) into a UN Environment Assembly at the CouncilĀ“s first meeting under universal membership of 193 member states, in late February. The status of UNEP was upgradet by a decision of world leaders at the Rio+20 Conference last year as well as securing more stable and increased funding as it will fall under the UN Regular Budget by 2014.

UNEP launched earlier this year the Think.Eat.Save. Reduce Your Foodprint campaign (www.thinkeatsave.org) to highlight how consumers and food retailers can with smple actions dramatically cut the 1.3 billion tonnes of food lost or wasted each year. The campaign is in support of the SAVE FOOD Initiative to reduce food loss and waste along the entire chain of food production and consumption - run by the FAO and the UN Secretary General's Zero Hunger Challenge. The new campaign specifically targets food wasted by consumers, retailers and the hospitality industry.

Worldwide, about one-third of all food produced, worth around US$1 trillion, gets lost or wasted in food production and consumption systems. Food loss occurs mostly at the production stages - harvesting, processing and distribution - while food waste typically takes place at the retailer and consumer end of the food-supply chain.

In an interview with UNRIC, Amina Mohamed, the Deputy Executive Director of UNEP explained why the changes at UNEP and the food waste campaign were so important.