(by Annika Klesen)
Every year more than 1,3 billion tonnes of food is wasted. This accumulates for more than 990 $US (Fao.org, 2017). But this is not even the worst part of it! While many industrialized countries throw their food away, because of aesthetic reasons, expired ‘best-before dates’ or pure overconsumption, more than 795 million people are suffering from undernourishment (Worldhunger.org, 2015).
What can be done to stop this increasing gap and reduce food wastage? Who is supposed to solute this world problem? Is it only governments? Or can businesses also effectively contribute to help the world make a more equal and sustainable place?
As I have learnt at the Liaison Delegate Meeting of the World Business Council of Sustainable Development 2017 (#WBSCD) it is possible!
Kenichi Ohmae, a Japanese corporate strategist explains how companies can achieve anything – even reducing food wastage and saving humans – by implementing three C’s into their business:
In order for businesses to stop food wasting and to make a sustainable impact on consumer behavior and the natural environment, a firm needs to consider these three C’s in the mentioned order.
A company can affect a country’s food waste reduction by adapting its’ laws and regulations on this issue, such as the regulation on supermarkets to donate unsold food (which is the case in France). Furthermore, an interactive communication with governmental and non-profit organizations can lay a path for future sustainable food consumption. I have seen this engagement at the WBCSD. But is it possible for businesses to make a difference and influence a country’s food wastage in a sustainable, long-term way? Yes, it is! Businesses are the ones that shape a country and its’ economy and hence play an important role in food waste reduction management. It is not the governments that have the power to change consumers’ buying behavior, it is the firms that can implement actions in their operations, which can contribute to a long-term sustainable plan. Therefore, no company should fear a Brexit or non-democratic government to continue this change.
The second C – community shows that businesses have the authority to make a change and shape the future consumer buying behavior to make the world a better place and fight undernourishment and food wastage. Internal business regulations, incentives for customers to buy only as much food as they need and implementing food recycling circles are only three aspects that I have learnt can make an impact.
Last but not least a company can profit from implementing food waste reducing systems by saving money and distinguish itself as a sustainable firm.
All in all, firms can lay a path for food waste reduction by contributing to the three C’s: Country, Community and Company. Nevertheless, it is us consumers who have to walk this path. Every one of us is responsible for their own food waste footprint and no matter how much businesses and governments guide us, we need to start walking and realizing the urgency of this problem!
#onepath #stopfoodwastage #WBCSD #Montreux 2017 #oneworld
For further reference:
Fag.org (2017), Food Loss and Food Waste, Available at: http://www.fao.org/food-loss-and-food-waste/en/, Accessed:29th March 2017
Worldhunger.org (2015), 2016 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics, Available at: http://www.worldhunger.org/2015-world-hunger-and-poverty-facts-and-statistics, Accessed: 30th March 2017