The expert panel discussed how the food loss and waste challenge can become an opportunity for all supply chain actors. Globally, about 14 percent food is lost despite enough food being produced for the all. Experts indicated that tackling food loss and waste contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and improves food security, nutrition, productivity, economic growth, bio-diversity, and resource efficiency while reducing GHG emissions. It was stressed that corrective policies need to be aligned with country priorities and contexts. Experts emphasized that bringing the lost, invisible food back into supply chains via alternative solutions based on innovative digital technology is key and generates big data desperately needed for policy decisions. UNECE developed a Smart Food Loss Management System, a digital supply solution which traces and systematically analyzes supply and losses at all stages and integrates with a marketplace which makes the missing food available to buyers. The panel agreed that international standards were part of agri trade, to avoid food loss, alternative supply chains, local markets, value additions need to absorb this produce.
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
Mr. Maximo Torero is chief economist and assistant director general for the Economic and Social Development Department at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). Prior to joining FAO, he was the World Bank Group Executive Director for Argentina, Bolivia, Chile Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay since November 2016. Before that, Dr Torero led the Division of the Markets, Trade, and Institutions at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). His major research work lies mostly in analyzing poverty, inequality, importance of geography and assets (private or public) in explaining poverty, and in policies oriented towards poverty alleviation based on the role played by infrastructure, institutions, and on how technological breakthroughs (or discontinuities) can improve the welfare of households and small farmers. His experience encompasses Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia. Dr Torero, holds a Ph.D. and a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of the Pacific, Lima, Peru. He is a professor on leave at the University of the Pacific (Perú) and an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at University of Bonn, Germany and has also published in top journals (QJE, Econometric Theory, AER-Applied Microeconomics, RSTAT, Labor Economics and many other top journals).
Ms. Liliana Annovazzi-Jakab is Head of the Agricultural Unit of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), responsible for sustainable quality infrastructure, food loss management, and trade standards for fresh/dried fruit, nuts, vegetables, meat, and seed potatoes. She works with over 1000 international experts, organizes inter-governmental meetings and training worldwide, manages field projects and provides policy advice. She has over 20 years’ experience in working for United Nations agencies including UNECE; United Nations Trade and Development Organization UNCTAD; International Labour Organization ILO; and International Trade Centre ITC. Her activities and field work (East and Central Europe, Africa and Asia) have focused on trade, agriculture/food, public-private partnerships, labour conventions and trade facilitation. Prior to joining the United Nations, she owned an international trading company and worked as a lawyer in law firms, government agencies and the media industry. She holds a Law degree and a Master’s degree in international law and international relations.
Ms. Kristina Mattsson, with a PhD in PostHarvest Horticulture has, for over 30 years, worked with and lectured on quality, trade standards and loss and waste of fruits and vegetables. She was Vice Chair of the UNECE Section for Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Trade Standards between 2006 and 2018. She has coordinated the work developing the UNECE Code of Good Practice – Reducing food loss in handling fruit and vegetables. For over 20 years, Ms Mattsson has worked with trade and market issues and the EU Agricultural and Fisheries Policies and in the Swedish Presidency in 2001 was working group chairman for a reform of the Olive Oil sector.
Mr. Thomas Heim is a natural scientist with a PhD in Toxicology. He is a partner of the Swiss Centre for Efficiency and active in areas including food waste, biogenic waste, and resource efficiency. Since 1992, he has been a lecturer for environmental technology, environmental didactics, and cleaner production at different universities. From 1999 to 2006, he was head of the Institute of Ecopreneurship at the University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) and responsible for the postgraduate studies in environmental technology and management. Besides teaching, he also coordinated and implemented applied research projects in Switzerland and in developing countries. From 2007 to 2017, he was director of the Swiss Centre for Efficiency, providing services for companies and facilitating innovation in the field of material and energy efficiency. From 2011 to 2018, he led the new centre for resource efficiency at FHNW. He has more than 20 years’ experience with bi- and multilateral development organisations (GIZ, seco, SDC, UNIDO). His broad international engagement was focused on Latin America, the Middle East and Europe.