Viorel Gutu

FAO Sub-regional Coordinator for Central Asia and Representative in Turkey

Honorable, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Mr. Bekir Pakdemirli,

Mr. Rıfat Hisarcıklıoğlu, President of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB),

Ms. Dilara Koçak, Nutritionist and our ‘Zero Waste Zero Hunger’ Supporter

Distinguished Guests,

Distinguished Members of the Press,

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is a great honor to be here with you today at the digital launch of SAVE YOUR FOOD Campaign. Please allow me to begin with special thanks to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry for their cooperation on making this event possible.

Dear friends,

Spending more time at home these days and probably more in the kitchen to keep ourselves busy, even made us more aware of the place and value of food in our lives. We started to ask do we have enough of it, will we be able to continue to afford it or are we consuming it responsibly? In a world where 14 percent of food produced is lost from post-harvest up to the retail stage, these are pretty righteous questions. The food wasted during the retail and consumption stages are likely to be high and we can not currently measure it accurately.Knowing over 820 million people are going to bed hungry every day, losing or wasting this amount of food is morally unacceptable.

Evenmore, it means that greenhouse gases (GHG) have been emitted and the land and water resources used in the production of food have been wasted for no reason.Reducing food loss and waste is therefore seen as a way to improve food security and nutrition, reduce GHG emissions and ease pressures on natural resources.International attention on food loss and waste is firmly reflected in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. And while the challenges ahead remain significant, many countries are already taking action to reduce food loss and waste.

Dear friends,

As FAO, we have been highlighting the problem of food loss and waste and working to raise awareness on it since 2011.To play our part in this issue, we started “SAVE FOOD Global Initiative to on Food Loss and Waste Reduction” which is FAO’s first and the most comprehensive initiative. In close collaboration with Messe Düsseldorf, we conducted numerous capacity building, awareness raising projects in South Asia, Near East and Africa. In the meantime, Turkey implemented a significant awareness raising campaign, focusing on preventing bread waste which resulted in saving 300 million of bread annually and an overall economic saving of 2,8 billion Turkish Liras.This was an excellent example of a national campaign which did not only increase awareness, but also produced concrete results.

Couple of years later, during G20 Presidency in 2015, Turkey played a pivotal role in mobilizing agriculture ministers in address the challenge of reducing food loss and waste.At the end of the summit, the G20 Platform on Measurement and Reduction of Food Loss and Waste was established with Turkey and FAO realized its launch during FAO’s annual council meeting.FAO and Turkish Government’s longstanding shared concern on reducing the high levels of food loss and waste did not end with that platform surely. Last year, as a follow-up project of FAO’s SAVE FOOD Global initiative to on Food Loss and Waste Reduction”, FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry executed the “Zero Waste Zero Hunger: Support to Awareness Raising on Food Loss and Waste" project.During this year-long project, we organized a series of workshops including all provincial directorates and the representatives of academia, civil society and private sector.

As a result of these workshops, we penned Turkey’s first national strategy and action plan on food loss and waste with the contribution of ministry experts and related stakeholders. Today we are grateful to share this national strategy and action plan with you. I would also like to note that this launch will only be the beginning of a regional initiative that will pave the way for other region countries to develop their own national strategies and action plans. Needless to say Turkey will set a great example during this period and we will gladly provide our technical knowledge and expertise whenever needed. Taking this opportunity, I would like thank the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry for their partnership and our dearest colleagues for their hard work. Before ending my speech, I wish to underline that now is the time to take action in the way we produce and consume our food.

Bu sebeple “GIDANI KORU, SOFRANA SAHİP ÇIK” diyorum.