The Croatian Food Agency (HAH) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) organized, on 15 October 2014, an international conference entitled „Reducing Food Loss and Waste: From Farm to Fork“ to mark the World Food Day. The conference was organized under the high auspices of PhD Ivo Josipović, the President of the Republic of Croatia and under the patronage of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Croatia and Ministry of Environmental and Nature Protection. The conference’s slogan was „Let every day be a world day against food waste“.
The audience consisted of approximately 170 stakeholders in the food chain “from farm to fork”, representatives of the competent authorities, industry, retail, consumers ́ organizations and the scientific community.
In the opening part the audience was welcomed and addressed by Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture in Osijek, prof. PhD Vlado Guberac, Andrea Gross-Bošković, Director of the Croatian Food Agency, Denis Ambruš, Deputy Mayor of City of Osijek, PhD Željko Kraljičak, Deputy county perfect of the Osijek-Baranja County, Stjepan Tanić, representative of the FAO and Božica Rukavina, Assistant Minister, Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic Croatia. Assistant Minister pointed out in her speech that the problem of food waste is global phenomenon and it is incorrect to connect food wastage only to the rich and developed countries, since developing countries also deal with it. She expressed satisfaction that the Croatian Food Agency has recognized the importance of this topic and that leading experts were present there and the attendance of conference was really great, which further confirms that we are aware of the severity of this problem and the need to resolve it.
PhD Ivo Josipović, President of the Republic Croatia, addressed to the audience by video message.
The topic of food losses and waste, through plenary sessions, was divided into perspectives: policy makers, science, food business operators and consumers. The conference was moderated by academician prof. PhD Vlasta Piližota i PhD Brigita Hengl.
The first presentation from the perspective of policy makers on FAO role and activities to reduce food losses and waste was delivered by Stjepan Tanić, FAO Regional office for Europe and Central Asia from Budapest.
PhD Neven Voća, Director of Croatian Environment Agency, delivered the presentation on Municipal waste management with emphasis on food waste in Croatia.
From the perspective of science, prof. PhD Mauro Serafini, Head of Functional Food and Metabolic Stress Prevention Laboratory CRA-NUT from Rome, presented the Metabolic food waste.
The next presentation Awareness on food waste and food waste prevention and reduction was delivered by academician prof. PhD Vlasta Piližota from Faculty of Food Technology Osijek.
The last presentation from the perspective of science, How to reduce food waste without compromising food safety was delivered by Andrea Gross-Bošković, Director of the Croatian Food Agency.
After the break, from the perspective of food business operators, Danijel Šabić, Quality manager, and Blanka Kundakčić, Environmental protection associate in Žito d.o.o. presented the Sustainability in primary production
Olivier Touze, Director of Sustainable Development at Groupement des Mousquetaires, “Intermarché” from France delivered presentation on Example of action plan in sustainability policy: how Intermarché reduce food waste in stores?.
From the perspective of consumers, presentation How to read „use by“ and „best before“ dates? was delivered by PhD Sanja Kolarić Kravar, Head of Service for labeling and basic requirements of food quality from Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic Croatia.
The last presentation Consumers: passive observers or drivers of changes? was delivered by Tanja Popović Filipović from Croatian Union of NGO for consumer protection.
Discussion and questions by the audience followed according to the programme. In the concluding remarks, the necessity of cooperation of all stakeholders in the system was stressed as well as constant consumers’ education and improving of monitoring and data collection on food losses and waste in order to enable relevant institutions to take effective measures to reduce it. A unique message was pointed out: We need to reduce food waste and we must act now!
Educative leaflet 10 tips to stop food waste, issued by European Commission, were distributed to participants.