The Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, today stressed that the food industry “has played a very important role in the fight against food waste” and that with the actions it has put in place “it has made giant strides” in reducing it.
Luis Planas reiterated the importance of investment in R&D&I to optimise resources and achieve a longer shelf life for food, improve preservation conditions, innovate in packaging design, produce using clean technologies and develop eco-efficient value chains by incorporating digital systems aimed at global efficiency.
The minister closed the third edition of the Participatory Forum of the Food Industry on the draft bill on the Prevention of Food Loss and Waste, organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food at the Palacio Condestable in Pamplona, following on from the sessions in Valencia (aimed at consumers and NGOs) and Barcelona (for distribution and the Horeca channel). These are a series of sectoral conferences with a participatory nature, gathering experiences and proposals in order to be able to project them in the Law itself.
Planas pointed out that in drawing up the draft bill, the ministry “has compiled the very large number of good business and social practices that already exist” to combat food waste. “We are not starting from scratch,” he reiterated, and stressed that the agri-food industry “is increasingly aware of the need to reduce the economic, sustainability and ethical impact” of this problem.
He recalled that only a few years ago, social responsibility actions related to waste were limited to donations of surplus food. Today, around 71% of agri-food industries already have a defined internal strategy to fight against waste; more than 61% of them promote good practices; and 51% promote joint actions with their suppliers. In terms of donations, more than 53% of companies in the sector have stable agreements with social organisations. “These are figures to be proud of”, he said.
This reality, together with research and innovation, employee training, analysis of process efficiency, stock control and the exchange of information throughout the chain, among others, are examples of practices that are increasingly implemented in the food industry. All of this puts the agri-food industries in a good position to tackle the new features of the draft law that Planas has announced he intends to take to the Council of Ministers in the spring for subsequent parliamentary processing.