National initiative to reduce food waste launched

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Prince Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University will conduct a field study to measure the levels of food waste in society. The study will focus on food waste tendency in 27 cities. — File photo
Prince Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University will conduct a field study to measure the levels of food waste in society. The study will focus on food waste tendency in 27 cities. — File photo

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH
— The Saudi Grains Organization (SAGO) has launched a national initiative to reduce food waste, Al-Jazirah Arabic daily reported on Monday.

This is an initiative of the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture under the National Transformation Program 2020 and Vision 2030.

The initiative aims to effectively exploit natural resources and establish policies to reduce waste.

The Saudi Grains Organization said at a press conference in Riyadh that it will provide training to private sector stakeholders on best practices to reduce food waste and prepare legislative framework to implement rules regarding wastage.

The initiative also aims at strengthening collaboration among supply chain stakeholders to improve product reuse and enhancing recycling capabilities.

Zaid Al-Shabanat, initiative director, said food wastage is uncivilized behavior.

“The initiative aims at reducing food waste, especially of wheat, rice, dates, fruits, vegetables, red and white meat,” Al-Shabanat said.

The initiative will be implemented in five phases.

The first phase of the initiative will be implemented by Prince Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University, which will conduct a field study to measure the levels of food waste in society.

The study will focus on food waste tendency in 27 cities.

Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Khareef, who leads the team that will conduct the study, said it will determine the volume of food waste and measure the economic losses resulting from it.

“We will study the economic, social and cultural aspects of food waste in the Kingdom and will apply behavioral economics methods to curb this practice and educate the public about the best practices.

“We will also determine the food waste baseline in the Kingdom and compare it to other countries in the region and around the world. The team will build KPIs to measure the level of food waste up to 2020,” he said.

The sample of the study comprises 5,000 participants from the Kingdom’s various regions.

International experts from the Food and Agriculture Organization and World Resources Institute as well as Saudi research companies will participate in the study and field surveys.


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