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Food waste focus set to increase in 2020

08 January 2020

There has been a notable increase in attention placed on the issue of food waste, both nationally and globally, with numerous implications for the FM sector.

Environmental concerns, including greenhouse gas emissions, and ethical aspirations can be seen to be driving forces within the movement to reduce food waste.

The increasing focus has been driven by statistics verified by independent organisations, including the figure of 33% of global food production being wasted every year, which has a value of $1 trillion.

Collectively, the emissions from global food waste are only exceeded by those of China and the USA, placing more emphasis on its role within the climate change debate.

With 1.3bn tonnes of food wasted each year, just one quarter of this would be sufficient to feed all those in the World who do not have enough to eat, which is currently estimated to be nearly 1bn people.

As understanding of the need to address the issue of food waste spreads to all areas, solutions are emerging to assist with reducing the amount of produce thrown away.

Perhaps the most relevant to the FM sector at present are smart phone apps that allow the sale and purchase of food that would otherwise not be used.

This is seen to assist with organisations' cash flow in some cases - which will benefit from receiving revenue while reducing landfill costs - as well as offering food at reduced prices, with some companies donating their unwanted food to homeless charities, etc, free of charge.

Another recent development is that of the creation of a protein by the Finnish Solar Foods company.

This is considered to be a major potential development, as it is produced from soil bacteria and hydrogen.

Although it requires electricity to drive the process, this will be emission-free if the power comes from renewable energy generation.

The company has stated that it has the potential to be of a similar price to soya within 10 years, with the added bonus of not requiring large areas of land for the growing of crops.

With reducing food waste becoming a major aim of governments, companies and individuals, this can also be seen to be included in catering contracts and various other operations throughout the FM sector and further raising its impact on the industry.

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