Slideshow Image 1 Slideshow Image 2 Slideshow Image 3 Slideshow Image 4

The 2nd Save Food Conference shows solutions against food waste

Youssou Ndour: "My daughter told me: there are bad people who are against food security “.

On the 7th and 8th May the Save Food Conference was for the second time a guest in Düsseldorf during the Interpack, the worldwide biggest trade fair for packaging.

Youssou Ndour, Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization FAO and more than 30 further experts from the food industry lectured on the topics "food loss" and "food waste", thus the loss of foodstuffs directly after harvesting, and the waste after having brought the products into our refrigerators. And the figures are shocking, since 1.3 billion tons of foodstuffs are wasted per year, of which 11 million in Germany alone. "This could help feed the whole world's population without any additional production", said Werner M. Dornscheid, Chairman of the management board of the Düsseldorf Fair in his opening speech. Dornscheid added: "In order to feed the world population in 2040, we would need a second planet, if things go on like this, as the extent of waste is equivalent to an agricultural crop land being as wide as the second biggest country in the world. Against this horror scenario Dornscheid took the Save Food initiative, arranged for having the seal of "Save Food" blessed by the UNO and the FAO, and organized the first Save Food Conference in Düsseldorf in 2011. In the meantime the Save Food fair, which can be visited at the Interpack fair until the 14th of May, moved to the United States, to Russia and to the FAO in Rome.

But Youssou Ndour is not the only father confronted by his kids with the problem of endangering the food security. His curious daughter stumbled over the word "security", when he searched the Internet for his lecture. Likewise the US American Vice-President for sustainability at Sealed Air Corporation, Dr. Ronald Cotterman, once came home and heard from his wife: "You must talk to your son". Cottermann could imagine all sorts of things about his 14 year old son, but not the following: "Is it true that, when I am as old as you, there won't be anything to eat on earth?". This is the way children learn about the topic "food security" in schools. Indeed, if we continue to pursue the food loss and food waste, it will in the year 2050 no longer be possible to feed the world population, as today already someone in the world dies every second minute of hunger. What food waste means, was shown by the film "Taste the waste" (Fresh from the trash) from Valentin Thurn in 2011 already. On the occasion of the conference Thurn identified in his new film "Food Savers" (der Essensretter) possible solutions with a contribution made by the Düsseldorf baker Roland M. Schüren to the theme of problems encountered in his branch of industry, where it is difficult to satisfy major customers in trade and to waste as little bread as possible. A balancing act, which brought him the German sustainability award.

Now, what needs to be done? The consumers, the people working in trade, science and politics, and not least the packaging industry are required to counteract the food waste. As Save Food is organized during the Interpack fair, you will be able to imagine that the packaging industry shows your achievements in that area. On the last conference day Richard Clemens, Managing Director of the foodstuffs machinery and packaging machines division of VDMA and Christian Trautmann, Managing Director of Multivac Sepp Haggemüller GmbH & Co. KG, stepped onto the stage. These two enterprises demonstrate intelligent packaging solutions in Hall 5 at the Interpack fair. On the first conference day Friedberg Klefenz, Chairman of the divisional executive board of Bosch Packaging Technology and President of Interpack 2014, gave a kick-off presentation in the same direction. His company exhibits innovative packaging solutions in Hall 6. But packaging is costly and sometimes so expensive that no consumer can imagine its price. This was demonstrated by a table presented by Prof. Dr. Steven T. Sonka from the Illinois University. At the top you find the price of beer packaging, which corresponds to 510% of the beer price. The "longest bar of the world" in the old town of Düsseldorf sends its regards.

Ibrahim Guèye