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The 2nd German-Senegalese Economic Summit of 7 November gains momentum.

Interview with Mr. Werner M. Dornscheidt, Chairman of the Management Board of Messe Düsseldorf.

In preparation for the 2nd German-Senegalese Economic Summit several Business Managers are interviewed. On 5 June we conducted the first Interview at the trade fair 'Messe Düsseldorf' (see box below). As initiator of the SAVE FOOD campaign, Mr. Dornscheidt will present the findings of the latest investigations concerning the loss and waste of foodstuff on 7 November. If we understood him correctly, the participants attending the Conference of 7 November at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce (IHK) in Düsseldorf will be confronted with figures which no one could have suspected until now. Hence, the energy sector and the entire food industry will face new challenges.


The first Save Food Press Conference took place in Berlin on 27 January 2011. But when exactly did the Initiative start and how was it motivated to develop into an "International Business Initiative"?

Dornscheidt: In the year 2010 the Messe Düsseldorf approached the FAO with the proposal to start a joint Initiative on combating the problem along with support given by the competencies of the economy. As a worldwide supplier of international trade fairs, we are familiar with the interests and problems of our target markets, and thus with the urgency of the subject matter. Simultaneously we, acting as organizers of the Interpack fair, which is the internationally leading trade fair for the packaging industry and the related process industry, know from the close contact with representatives of the business community about different solutions identified by the industry.

For sustainable reduction of the international foodstuff losses and waste, the Initiative is basically aimed at four consecutive steps: attracting attention, networking the economic and public sector, developing fundamental strategies and programs, supporting concrete investment programs and projects. The involvement of the private sector was therefore an essential part of the Initiative from the very beginning, as the private industry takes in its capacity as producer, processor and supplier for the consumers a key role in finding a solution for the problem.

The Initiative is a Public Private Partnership. Who is involved beside the Messe Düsseldorf, the UNEP and the FAO? Can you please name a few private enterprises which participate.

Dornscheidt: The concept of SAVE FOOD is to identify concrete solutions. It is therefore a prerequisite for the success of the Initiative to find as many partners and supporters as possible from the circle of private enterprises. Many groups of companies are ready for assuming responsibility and have joined us; including global players like Bayer, Tetra Pack, Dow Chemical, Henkel, Maersk, Bosch or Nestlé, but also numerous committed medium-sized enterprises. Meanwhile the Initiative supports a broad alliance of more than 110 companies throughout the world, covering the complete value-added food chain.

How many Save Food Conferences took place in the period from the start on 27 January 2011 in Berlin and the last Conference held in Düsseldorf on 7 and 8 May 2014?

Dornscheidt: The SAVE FOOD Congress is held every three years within the framework of the Interpack fair. On the occasion of the Congress international experts are intended to be brought together, in order to exchange their latest viewpoints and findings concerning foodstuff losses and waste. For this purpose the Interpack fair, with its 2700 exhibitors from all over the world, offers the ideal platform. At the same time optimum use can thus be made of the expertise of the packaging and process industry, as this branch of industry plays a central role in finding a solution for the food problem.

Apart from the Congress, the Initiative also provides for numerous other events; including for instance the German Unification Day organized by the Permanent Mission of the Federal Republic of Germany at the United Nations in Rome in the year 2013. Here, the Initiative presented itself to the political decision makers from the circle of permanent representatives and international organizations. Another event is the Food Processing & Packaging Exposyum (FPPE) in Kenya, which will be held for the second time next November.

At the Save Food Conference held on 7 and 8 May this year, I was looking everywhere for representatives of the wholesale trade, but could not find them. In my opinion this branch of industry was missing as an important link of the value-added chain. Can you explain to me why the trading sector was not represented?

Dornscheidt: In the first step of our Initiative, respectively in the founding years 2011 through 2014, the focus was not on wholesale trade. Initially the aim was rather to get SAVE FOOD through to the industry and anchor it there. But of course the integration of the wholesale trade is an important goal in the course of further development of the Initiative, since the wholesale trade naturally plays an important role in the entire value-added chain.

At the Conference held in Düsseldorf on 7 and 8 May the target of criticism was not only the wholesale trade, but also the packaging industry, as due to plastic waste it contributes decisively to food waste. What has been done by this branch to prevent the foodstuff waste?

Dornscheidt: The benefits of a packaging clearly exceed the waste aspect. This is the core message of the FAO and of our joint Initiative SAVE FOOD. Of course, awareness raising activities and implementing measures performed by the industry and all partners will always be necessary. Let us not ignore the recycling, which increasingly plays an important role in the entire raw materials and packaging cycle.

Can you imagine the SAVE FOOD exhibition at the trade fair "Made in Germany" in Dakar in November 2015 for the West African market?

Dornscheidt: This could be a good opportunity to present the Save Food Initiative also in Senegal. Over the coming months we will discuss this issue with our partners, FAO and UNEP, as well as with the member companies.

At the 2nd German-Senegalese Economic Summit of 7 November 2014 we will deal with two focal aspects of the West African economic problems, and suggest solutions: Food Processing and Energy. Our former Minister of Agriculture, Mrs. Ilse Aigner, had also addressed these two topics at the Save Food Press Conference held in Berlin on 27 January 2011. What will be in the focus of your keynote speech on 7 November 2014?

Dornscheidt: In my keynote speech I will speak about the Save Food Initiative and outline the solutions, by means of which this Initiative aims to counteract, jointly with its partners including FAO and UNEP, the urgent problems arising from foodstuff waste and loss.

Mr. Dornscheidt, many thanks for the Interview.

The Interview was held by Ibrahim Guèye.


The Messe Düsseldorf Group

With sales of EUR 323 million in 2013, the Messe Düsseldorf Group has consolidated its position as one of the most successful German trade-fair companies. During this trade-fair year, 25,126 exhibitors presented their products to around 1.2 million trade visitors at the events in Düsseldorf. In addition, there were roughly half a million visitors to the congresses. With around 50 trade fairs, including 24 No. 1 events in the five specialist areas machinery, plant and equipment; retail and services; medicine and health; fashion and lifestyle as well as leisure at the Düsseldorf site and roughly 80-100 own events, cooperative events and contracted events abroad, the Messe Düsseldorf Group is one of the leading export platforms in the world. Messe Düsseldorf GmbH is ranked no. 1 in terms of internationality in capital goods exhibitions. At the own events in the specialist area plant, machinery and equipment, around 70 percent of the exhibitors and 60 percent of professional visitors are from abroad; overall, customers from more than 160 countries attend trade fairs in Düsseldorf. Sales representatives in 132 countries (69 international representation offices) and competence centres in seven countries make up the Group’s global network.