APEC praises Taiwan for tackling food waste in Asia-Pacific

Taiwan proposals aimed at reducing food waste in Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation member economies were praised by representatives of the multilateral forum at the conclusion of a related APEC workshop Sept. 22 in Peru.

The measures included a data system utilizing mobile technology and apps for tracking food losses in the retail and hospitality sectors, collaborative strategies for minimizing food waste up and down the supply chain and enhanced programs of consumer education. They are part of a multiyear, public-private sector project co-headed by Taiwan under the auspices of the APEC Agricultural Technical Cooperation Working Group.

If we cut food waste by 10 percent, this could save an estimated US$14.3 billion in the Asia-Pacific, an official from Council of Agriculture under the Executive Yuan said. Improving food loss assessment and controls is paramount in safeguarding food security, lowering food prices and ensuring greater prosperity in the region.

Such measures also assist in eliminating poverty key development goals in the APEC Food Security Roadmap Towards 2020 and U.N. Millennium Project.

According to the COA, which is the central government agency responsible for overseeing Taiwan's participation in the APEC initiative, the Workshop on Strengthening Public-Private Partnership to Reduce Food Losses in the Supply Chain was jointly staged by Taiwan, New Zealand and Peru. More than 50 attendees from 16 of APEC's 21 member economies, as well as the APEC Secretariat and World Bank, took part in the daylong event.

All recommendations tabled during the workshop will be made available to APEC member economies and submitted for consideration at the APEC Food Security Ministerial Meeting Sept. 26-27 in Peru.

Curbing food losses is a top priority for APEC as it strives to promote balanced, inclusive, innovative, secure and sustainable growth by accelerating economic integration in the region of 3 billion people. APEC research shows that about 40 percent of food waste in member economies is caused by retailers and consumers, with the total annual losses capable of sustaining 800 million people under the poverty line for 16 months. (WF-E)

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China (Taiwan)