In South Africa, an estimated 13 million people go to bed hungry every night. With the South African Food Loss and Waste Voluntary Agreement, the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA) hopes to reduce this number significantly.
Matlou Setati, food safety initiative executive at the CGCSA, joins us on this weekend’s podcast to discuss the voluntary agreement. She says that so far 55 signatories have come on board.
“Through this landmark voluntary agreement, signatories from South Africa – including manufacturers, suppliers and retailers – are committing to the overall agreement to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 12.3.
[They commit] to [reducing] food waste in South Africa by 50% by 2030. This will be done through individual activities and their companies.”
The voluntary agreement was launched about a year ago by the CGCSA, and include the department of forestry, fisheries and the environment, as well as trade, industry and competition.
Already in action
The country started implementing practical steps in line with the agreement. Setati explains that these steps will prioritise the prevention of food waste and the redistribution of edible surplus food.
“There has to be identification of food surplus and waste management solutions that will respond to a circular economy and sustainable food systems agenda.
“And we do believe that through government legislative guidance, the industry will be enabled to prevent waste and empowered to donate surplus food which is safe for human consumption, thus averting food insecurity and food waste, and working towards the zero-hunger goal.”
Setati adds that the government can contribute to reducing food waste in the country by focusing on infrastructure support for farmers, for example by enabling farmers to process products that may not have been sold at the markets.
“There is also a need for markets close to the farmers and the improvement of market infrastructure such as storage and temperature control. One other critical aspect is the issue of road infrastructure. These are some drivers of food loss and waste.”
Everyone is responsible
Setati says that the goal of the voluntary agreement is to halve food waste in the country by 2030, and that ultimately we all need to actively contribute to reducing it.
“Food waste has a direct impact on climate change and needs necessary focus from governments, consumers and industry working together. If we all measure the waste we produce in our facilities and households, we should be able to implement changes. Thus we all have a responsibility and a role to play in the reduction of food loss and waste.”
Listen to the full conversation with Setati on the latest episode of Farmer’s Inside Track:
Apple Podcasts: Click here to listen on any Apple device.
Google Podcasts: Click here to listen on Google Podcasts.
Instant play: Just tap the “play” button below to listen right here.
Sign up for Farmer’s Inside Track: Join our exclusive platform for new entrants into farming and agri-business, with newsletters and podcasts.