The first SAVE FOOD Conference took place during the recent staging of IPACK-IMA (May 29 – June 1 in Milan, Italy), one of the most important European trade fairs for packaging and processing. Speakers from major groups and small companies, associations and NGOs addressed the issue of international food waste and loss from different angles.

“As an industry hotspot for food processing and packaging, IPACK-IMA provides the ideal setting for exchange and a solutions-oriented discussion among experts as part of a SAVE FOOD Conference,” commented Bernd Jablonowski, responsible for SAVE FOOD and Global Portfolio Director Processing and Packaging at Messe Düsseldorf.

After Enrico Aureli, President of the Italian Machinery Manufacturers’ Association UCIMA, and Bernd Jablonowski, officially opened the Conference, the first session began with a lecture by Alberto Vacchi, President of the Ima Group. This company is highly committed to the SAVE FOOD Initiative and has co-financed FAO studies in Africa among other activities. Stefan Glimm, Senior Executive Advisor at Flexible Packaging Europe (a SAVE FOOD member from the start of the initiative), highlighted the role of packaging as a tool for reducing food loss and waste. Sonja Mattfeld, Partner & Regional Director East Africa, reported about the SAVE FOOD mango project, which could serve as a blueprint for similar businesses in other regions of the world. FAO Agro-Industry Officer Robert van Otterdijk, who has been involved with this topic at the Food and Agricultural Organisation since the beginning, focused on the role of the private sector in fighting food waste and loss on a national level.

In the second session, successful companies which have implemented smart ideas revolving around the issues of food loss and waste, were presented. Following the presentation by Parag Gupta, Joint Secretary at the Indian Ministry for Food Processing, Fabio Moioli, Head of Consulting and Service at Microsoft, explained the role of technology, especially machine learning, cloud computing, drones and networks and their potential contribution to solving problems. The conference concluded with the lecture by Rahel Moges, founder of Ethiogreen, an Ethiopian company from the food sector, who shared her practical experiences.

Source: Save Food Initiative