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dez 21, 2017

Brazil received UN praise for food waste practices

The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has praised Brazil for its food waste initiatives and practices. Brazil’s good example, according to the organization’s representatives, could provide savings for other countries across Latin America.

Brazil was commended by the FAO for its practices with food banks and programs run by its state agricultural entities. According to the FAO, these particular measures serve to integrate nutritional and food security units across the country, meaning that Brazil saves on food waste and contributes to environmental efforts.

Initiatives in Brazil were some of several highlighted by special FAO representative Alan Bojanic at an event in the Museum of Art of Rio de Janeiro (MAR). The event, run in collaboration with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) and the non-governmental organization WWF-Brasil, focused on best practices for reducing food waste across the planet.

Researchers from Brazil joined experts from Denmark, Spain, France, the Netherlands and Sweden, along with national retail and industry representatives. Brazil, Bojanic said, served as an example of several good practices for other countries in Latin America, making particular reference to the country’s efficient and high-quality food banks.

Another Brazilian element lauded by Bojanic was Embrapa’s initiative to develop packaging capable of protecting and increasing food shelf life. “Packaging is at the heart of the discussion,” he told Brazilian media at the conference. Technology to increase the lifespan of foods, as well as to make transportation and distribution practices more sustainable, is essential according to the FAO representative.

Bojanic considered Spain as an example of how Brazil could take its current practices to the next level of efficiency. By increasing cooperation between civil society and governments, existing structures like food banks could arrive at an even more functional stage.

The FAO representative also said that examples from other countries could be useful for Brazil in the near future, serving as applicable models and learnings to curb food waste, which is a growing phenomenon across the globe.

“It is not only an ethical issue, but also has a very strong environmental dimension, [like] very large greenhouse gas emissions from food that are wasted. It has a financial, economic, social issue,” Bojanic told reporters at the seminar, titled ‘Without Waste - Dialogues Brazil and the European Union’.

The seminar was designed to further strategic partnerships between Brazil and the European Union, promoting knowledge exchanges as well as sharing experiences and best practices on topics of mutual interest. With Brazil’s agribusiness potential and growing global conversations around environmental impact and food security, the conference proved the benefit of such exchanges and saw participating countries learning from one another’s expertise.