Our Impact

OzHarvest teams up with the United Nations to address food and nutrition security and sustainable food systems

For immediate release - June 2014

OzHarvest teams up with the United Nations to address food and nutrition security and sustainable food systems

For the second year running, Australia's leading food rescue organisation, OzHarvest is partnering with the United Nations to tackle the issues of food and nutrition security and sustainable food systems at the upcoming Think.Eat.Save events to be held across the country on Monday, 21 July.

Collaborating with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the UN's Food Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction (SAVE FOOD), OzHarvest will be leading the Think.Eat.Save campaign in Australia to raise awareness around global food loss and waste reduction. The events also contribute to the global FAO-UNEP Sustainable Food Systems Programme.

Some of the nation's top chefs, politicians and celebrities will unite at events held across Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Newcastle to take a stance against food waste, and serve thousands of members of the public a free, delicious and hearty hot meal made from surplus produce that would have otherwise ended up as landfill.

Food waste is currently costing Australians up to $10 billion each year, while two million people still rely on food relief.

Founder and CEO of OzHarvest, Ronni Kahn said the aim of Think.Eat.Save 2014 is to bring attention to the disturbing amount of food wasted in Australia and around the world, where roughly one third of food produced for human consumption (approx. 1.3 billion tonnes) gets wasted and lost along the way.

'Our modern day challenge is to create a sustainable food culture that can be shared by all, where we waste less at all levels of food production, distribution and consumption,' Kahn said.

'Each and every one of us can make a pledge to reduce food waste by participating in local Think.Eat.Save events, and also commit to reducing food waste at home. Small actions can affect change and united, our actions will make a huge positive impact on our planet.'

Naysan Sahba, Director of Communications of UNEP said, "In the next few years, food consumption is expected to increase by around 30 per cent due to population growth, while the effects of climate change are expected to reduce agricultural yields by up to 5 per cent in some areas. We do know, however, that cutting the rate of food loss and waste in half by 2050 would close 20 per cent of this food gap.

'To bring about the vision of a truly sustainable world, we need to transform the way we produce and consume our food, which effectively means the way we consume our natural resources. This is what we at UNEP and our partners like OzHarvest are striving to influence with the Think.Eat.Save campaign and we thank OzHarvest for continuing to champion the campaign in Australia and beyond."

A number of leaders and experts in the field of food waste, sustainability and food and nutrition security will debate these issues in a panel discussion at the Sydney and Adelaide events.

DATE & TIME: Monday, 21 July from 11.30am – 2.30pm, various locations
RSVP & PLEDGE HERE: www.ozharvest.eventbrite.com.au
LOCATIONS:
Sydney event: Martin Place, Sydney
Adelaide event: The University of Adelaide, Adelaide
Brisbane event: St Stephen's Cathedral, Brisbane
Melbourne event: Federation Square, Melbourne

For more information on OzHarvest please visit www.ozharvest.org
Follow us on Twitter @OzHarvest or Facebook or call 1800 108 006
Social media tags: #ozharvest #thinkeatsave
@UNEP #SaveFood #UNFAO #FoodWaste
@FAOKnowledge @FAOnews @save_food_news

For more media information, images or interviews with Ronni Kahn, Founder and CEO of OzHarvest, or panel experts please contact:

Louise Tran at OzHarvest on louise.tran@ozharvest.org | +61 2 9516 3877 | +61 466 620 744
Sascha Ryner at Liquid Ideas on sascharyner@liquidideas.com.au | +61 2 9667 4211 | +61 416 858 419

Local food facts
Australians throw out $8-10 billion of food every year. As a nation we waste four million tonnes per annum of food which ends up in landfill.
Australians throw out one out of every five shopping bags, which equates to every Australian household throwing out $1,036 worth of groceries each year.
Australia produces enough food to feed approx. 60 million people, yet two million people still rely on food relief every year.
Food relief agencies are not able to meet demand. Nearly 90% of agencies reported not having enough food to meet total demand. 6 in 10 agencies require at least 25% more food with almost 3 in 10 agencies requiring double the food.

Global food loss and waste facts
Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted.
Every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food (222 million tonnes) as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tonnes).
Food loss and waste also amount to a major squandering of resources, including water, land, energy, labour and capital and needlessly produce greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to global warming and climate change.
While the planet is struggling to provide us with enough resources to sustain its 7 billion people (growing to 9 billion by 2050), FAO estimates that a third of global food production is either wasted or lost. Food waste is an enormous drain on natural resources and a contributor to negative environmental impacts.
If food is wasted, it means that all the resources and inputs used in the production of all the food are also lost. For example, it takes about 1,000 litres of water to produce 1 litre of milk and about 16,000 litres goes into a cow's food to make a hamburger. The resulting greenhouse gas emissions from the cows themselves, and throughout the food supply chain, all end up in vain when we waste food.
Given this enormous imbalance in lifestyles and the resultant devastating effects on natural resources and the environment, this year's theme – Think.Eat.Save - Reduce Your Foodprint – encourages you to become more aware of the impacts of your food choices and empowers you to make informed decisions.

For more information visit www.thinkeatsave.org

About FAO
Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO's efforts – to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. FAO's three main goals are: eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition; elimination of poverty and the driving forward of economic and social progress for all; and, sustainable management and utilization of natural resources, including land, water, air, climate and genetic resources for the benefit of present and future generations. Visit: www.fao.org

About SAVE FOOD: Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction In May 2011 FAO launched the Global Initiative on food loss and waste reduction (also called SAVE FOOD Initiative) as a corporate effort together with the private sector trade fair organizer Messe Düsseldorf GmbH (Germany). SAVE FOOD works in partnership with donors, bi- and multi-lateral agencies, financial institutions, public, private sector and civil society for: (i) Awareness raising; (ii) Collaboration and coordination of world-wide initiatives; (iii) Evidence-based policy, strategy and programme development, including a methodology for assessing food loss; (iv) Technical support to investment programmes and projects. UNEP joined SAVE FOOD by launching the Think.Eat.Save Campaign in January 2013. Visit: www.fao.org/save-food

In August 2013 the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific launched the SAVE FOOD Asia-Pacific Campaign in Bangkok, Thailand. Strategic action areas identified through consultations: awareness raising, the relevant role of the private sector and support mechanisms by governments in order to facilitate smallholder effective organization along with the role played by consumers. Visit: www.savefood.net/

About the FAO-UNEP Sustainable Food Systems Programme
The FAO/UNEP sustainable food systems program is catalysing partnerships among United Nations agencies, governments, private sector and civil society to promote activities that improve the sustainability of food consumption and production. Visit: www.fao.org/ag/ags/sustainable-food-consumption-and-production/en

In June 2012 on the occasion of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), the U.N. Secretary General launched the Zero Hunger Challenge which includes addressing sustainability of all food systems and the aim of zero food loss and waste. The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) , the foremost intergovernmental body for food security and nutrition, at its thirty-ninth Session (October 2012), requested its High Level Panel of Experts on food security and nutrition (HLPE) to prepare a report on Food losses and waste in the context of sustainable food systems to inform the discussions in Plenary in October 2014. In May 2014 HLPE released the summary and recommendations of its report .