On October 31, 2017, Nina Waldhauer represented the Postharvest Network at the “Brazil and EU Dialogue on food waste”. Nina’s key message was that well developed postharvest technology and agrologistics are important drivers for maintaining the quality of products throughout the entire value chain.
Brazil and the EU being valuable partners to each other have set up a strategic partnership to promote the exchange of knowledge, experience and best practices on issues of mutual interest. Fighting food waste is one such issue, with Brazil having vast agricultural ressources and great opportunities to develop the agricultural sector, its export and in this applying smart ways to reduce and prevent food waste on the one hand. The EU on the other hand has had longer experience already in setting up large research project around food waste such as FUSIONS and REFRESH and several of its member states have significant experience on developing national strategies, taskforces and other ways of public private cooperations.
On 31 October 2017 a Brazil-EU seminar on food waste was organized in the Rio Art Museum (MAR) in Rio de Janeiro. More than 40 institutions of different links in the agri-food chain were represented at the event. The Dialogue was opened by the Embrapa Director of Research and Development Celso Moretti. Speakers at the seminar gave insight into the development of national strategies as well as international work done by FAO and the Save Food initiative. The work that various players in the agri-food chain can and should undertake to reduce and prevent food waste was highlighted and insights were given into consumer behaviour that influences food waste.
In this context, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Brazil invited Nina Waldhauer of Wageningen Food & Biobased Research and Postharvest Network to participate in the seminar. Nina’s key message was that well developed postharvest technology and agrologistics are important drivers for maintaining the quality of products throughout the entire value chain. This does not only impact food losses and waste but also enables the export of higher-value products and thus can strengthen the local economy through an increase of the GDP, labour productivity, trade and creation of jobs as well as a decrease of transaction cost. Furthermore, it is important to consider the chain as a whole and implement action in a value chain approach. Actions from a single stakeholder or tackling aspects of individual chain elements will not lead to the desired effect and the positive impact might even get lost throughout the chain. Nina stressed that options for cooperation between Brazil and the Netherlands mainly lie in the knowledge and technology that the Netherlands has on agriculture and the transformation from an agricultural country to an international hub for agri-food trade and high-tech agriculture. In cooperation with Brazilian stakeholders the Dutch input can be adapted to the local situation and as such support the further development of the Brazilian agri-food sector.
Please watch the video with an interview with Nina Waldhauer:
Please find here a news article (in Portuguese) in the Empraba on the Dialogue.