The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance and urgency of addressing food loss and waste in South Africa, which has led to even greater economic hardship for South African consumers while causing significant losses at farm level due to farmers not being able to get their produce to markets, and a decline in demand due to lockdown restrictions.
RCL Foods has joined Pick n Pay in the international ’10x20x30′ initiative, which focuses on eliminating food loss and waste from the supply chain. 10x20x30 was launched by Champions 12.3 to help companies reach the UN SDG 12.3 with a vision to massively increase private sector contribution to the global goal of reducing food loss and waste by 50% by 2030 by catalysing efforts “up” the supply chain.
The Initiative initially targeted at least 10 of the world’s largest food retailers and providers to follow the “Target-Measure-Act” approach and engage 20 of their priority suppliers to do the same, thereby halving their food loss and waste by 2030. This catalyst model is led by some of the world’s largest food retailers and providers who have each committed to engaging at least of their 20 suppliers to halve food loss and waste by 2030, in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 12.3.
The companies behind 10x20x30 include Malaysia-based Aeon, Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, France-based Carrefour, multinational IkeaFood, USA-based Kroger, Germany-based Metro AG, Turkey-based Migros, South Africa-based Pick n Pay, and the multinational Savola Group, Sodexo, Tesco and Walmart.
“We have been on a journey to drive sustainable business for some time already, and nourishing people and sustaining resources are two of the pillars of our sustainability framework. By participating in the 10X20X30 initiative, we are committing to reduce food loss and waste in our operations by 50%, to measure and publish our food loss and waste inventories, and to create actionable strategies to reduce this waste,” said Miles Dally, RCL Foods CEO.
Reports show that every year, a third of all food produced in the world ends up being discarded by retailers and consumers, while a significant amount is also lost across the supply chain, especially during harvesting and transportation. Globally, it amounts to throwing away $940bn annually, while contributing needlessly to 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
“Reducing the more than 1 billion tonnes of food that’s lost or wasted each year would bring big social, environmental and economic benefits – but bringing these benefits to scale requires action across the entire supply chain achieve the target of 50% reduction by 2030. I’m encouraged to see so many leading food retailers and suppliers committing to bold action. It’s exactly what the world needs to,” said Dr Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the World Resources Institute.
10x20x30 has joined hands with initiatives already underway at RCL Foods to reduce food waste, including sending near-to-expiry food to a social partner, FoodForward SA, which distributes it to charities feeding the hungry – and diverting some of its food waste from landfill sites through partnerships with biofuels manufacturers and agriprotein producers. “In line with our passion to provide More Food to More People, More Often, we are committed to doing whatever we can to increase food provision and tackle food waste for the sake of a more sustainable future,” Dally added.