IDB and partners launch platform to fight food waste

Mexico City / MX. (idb) Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) loses or wastes more than 127 million tons of food a year—an annual average of 223 kilos per person in a region where nearly 42 million people suffer from acute undernutrition (hunger).

The #SinDesperdicio platform was conceived to help reduce this alarming level of food loss and waste (FLW). Coordinated by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), it seeks to leverage the efforts of the private and public sectors and civil society.

The platform brings together leading companies from the food and technology sectors, such as The Coca-Cola Company, Nestle, Dow Chemical, the Femsa Foundation, Grupo Bimbo, IBM, and Oxxo. Other strategic partners include the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the Global Food Banking Network, the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), and the World Resources Institute.

In some of the region’s food groups, such as fruits and vegetables, losses exceed 50 percent. At consumer level, particularly at homes, about 28 percent of the food is wasted. This phenomenon takes place all along the food chain: in the production phase, 28 percent is lost; in handling and storage, 21 percent; in processing, 6 percent; in distribution and marketing, 17 percent; at consumer level, particularly at homes, about 28 percent of food goes to waste.

This situation also has a huge impact on the environment—by some estimates, at global level 18 percent of all productive land and 19 percent of fertilizers are used to produce food that never gets consumed.

The platform will promote four areas of activity: innovative projects, national and local public policies, knowledge generation, and responsible consumer habits.

In the field of innovation, processes and technologies throughout the production chain will be promoted—from infrastructure that improves logistics, to novel food recovery and donation models.

The platform will also foster public policies in areas such as adoption of labelling standards, norms and incentives for food donation, and support for national and municipal FLW reduction.

In the area of knowledge, efforts will be made to enhance the existing data on food loss and waste levels and their causes.

The platform will also promote behavioural changes through awareness and training campaigns aimed at minimizing food waste among producers, distributors and end consumers.

IDB Executive Vice President Julie Katzman pointed out that #SinDesperdicio is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals, whose goal number 12.3 seeks to cut per capita food waste by half and reduce losses in the production and distribution chains by the year 2030.

«Meeting these goals will demand effort from all of us,» she said. «This associates platform is a starting point to reduce food losses and waste, a fundamental agenda to achieve our objective of improving lives in Latin America and the Caribbean.»

Olga Reyes, The Coca-Cola Company’s Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability Vice President for Latin America, said: «We are proud to be making this effort to reduce food loss in Latin America. This is a commitment where we all gain: communities gain, consumers gain, producers gain, and most of all, the environment gains. This will become part of the legacy we leave to the generations to come.»

For his part, Dow’s Plastics and Special Packaging Director for Latin America and the Caribbean Juan Contreras said, «Dow is proud to collaborate with the Inter-American Development Bank and to partner with the private sector, governments, and the civil society in the #SinDesperdicio platform. We are clearly facing the challenge of providing food to more people in more sustainable ways, striving to significantly minimize food loss and waste in its value chain. We at Dow believe that collaborative efforts to develop solid solutions to promote more economic development, improve the environment, and help communities and other strategic value chains linked to the food chain will bring about real and sustainable change.»

The Grupo Bimbo’s Global Sustainability Manager Alejandra Vázquez said: «Ever since our foundation more than 70 years ago, it has been our priority to work day in and day out to build a sustainable, highly productive and fully humane company. As founding partners of this platform, we are also taking one more step to fulfil our purpose of contributing to make the world a better place. We commend the IDB for this initiative, and we trust that by joining efforts and synergies, we will all manage to reduce food losses in our region.»

Laurent Freixe, Nestle’s CEO for the Americas, highlighted the relevance of the alliance for his company. «We have decided to join #SinDesperdicio because we are aware that nobody can tackle this challenge on their own. We need to work together to reduce food waste for the benefit of our planet and the people living in it. Nestle has set for itself the goal of eliminating the delivery of waste to landfills from all our working centers by 2020, and to work alongside our suppliers and consumers to fight food waste.»

Patricia Menezes, IBM Latin America Corporate Citizenship executive, stressed the importance of using technology paired with industry expertise for the benefit of society as a whole. «We are mighty proud of participating in this initiative and of having the chance to provide access to disruptive technologies such as IBM Cloud and Watson API to several not-for-profit organizations and universities linked to #SinDesperdicio so that, working together, we can help improve the production and distribution chain in order to minimize food losses for the benefit of all citizens in Latin America.»

«Beyond any doubt, collaborative work is the only way of facing challenges such as food loss and waste in the region,» CGF Latin America representative Erika Rodriguez said.

The platform will develop pilot projects in Mexico, Colombia and Argentina with a view to quickly expand to other nations in the region. For more information, visit the initiative’s website at:

If you wish to follow the launching of the initiative live, please go to this link.

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.

The Coca-Cola Company is a total beverage company, offering over 500 brands in more than 200 countries and territories. In addition to the company’s Coca-Cola brands, our portfolio includes some of the world’s most valuable beverage brands, such as AdeS soy-based beverages, Ayataka green tea, Dasani waters, Del Valle juices and nectars, Fanta, Georgia coffee, Gold Peak teas and coffees, Honest Tea, Innocent smoothies and juices, Minute Maid juices, Powerade sports drinks, Simply juices, Smartwater, Sprite, Vitaminwater, and ZICO coconut water. We’re constantly transforming our portfolio, from reducing sugar in our drinks to bringing innovative new products to the market. We’re also working to reduce our environmental impact by replenishing water and promoting recycling. With our bottling partners, we employ more than 700,000 people, helping bring economic opportunity to local communities worldwide.

For ten years at Femsa Foundation we have generated positive impacts on people and communities through social investment projects for sustainability. We work on water preservation and sustainable use, and foster early childhood development. Moreover, we have integrated the promotion of Latin American art and culture to our activities through the Femsa Collection.

Grupo Bimbo is the leading company in the global bread-making industry. It employs more than 141,000 people, and in 2017 achieved sales for US USD 14.4 billion. It has 202 production facilities, and approximately 1,800 Sales Outlets strategically located in 32 countries around the world, encompassing 4 continents. The group produces more than 13,000 products under above 100 umbrella brands of renowned prestige in categories such as sliced bread, rolls and toast. Furthermore, it has extensive distribution networks in the countries where it operates, and one of the largest in the Americas. In 2018, for the second year in a row, Grupo Bimbo was the only Mexican corporation recognized as one of the 135 most ethical firms according to the World’s Most Ethical Companies 2018, produced by The Ethisphere Institute. Grupo Bimbo trades on the Mexican Stock Exchange (BMV) under the ticker symbol BIMBO.

Nestle Holding is the world’s largest food and beverage company. It is present in 189 countries around the world, and its 323,000 employees are committed to Nestle’s purpose of enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future. Nestle offers a wide portfolio of products and services for people and their pets throughout their lives. Its more than 2000 brands include global icons such as Nescafe, Nespresso, Maggi, Milo, and Nido. In the Americas, it employs 108,000 people, with total sales for 40.7 billion Swiss francs in 2017. Nestle operates 158 factories throughout the hemisphere, mainly in the pets, coffee, dairy products, beverages, ice cream, culinary products, frozen foods, baby food, confectionery, and cookies categories. The company’s performance is driven by its Nutrition, Health and Wellness strategy. Nestle is based in Vevey, Switzerland, where it was founded over 150 years ago.

The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) is an international nonprofit organization that nourishes the world’s hungry by launching and strengthening food banks in over 30 countries. Last year, 811 GFN member food banks rescued over 1.04 billion pounds of food and redirected them to feed more than 7.78 million people through nearly 55,000 social service and community-based organizations.

The Consumer Goods Forum (CGF) is a global, parity-based industry network, driven by its members to foster the global adoption of practices and standards that serve the consumer goods industry worldwide. It brings together the CEOs and senior management of over 400 retailers, manufacturers, service providers and other stakeholders across 70 countries, and reflects the diversity of the industry in geography, size, product category and format. Forum member companies have combined sales of EUR 3.5 trillion and directly employ nearly 10 million people with a further 90 million related jobs estimated along the value chain. It is governed by its Board of Directors, which includes 50 manufacturer and retailer CEOs.

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