International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste

The 29 September is the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste (IDAFLW), introduced by FAO, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.

Reducing food loss and waste can play a key role in the transformation of agrifood systems by increasing the availability of food, contributing to food security, healthy diets, and building resilience. Food loss and food waste reduction also serve as a key climate strategy by reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).

DeLaval can contribute to this mainly by ensuring less milk is discarded during the milking process. A key reason for discarded milk on farms globally is the use of antibiotics to cure sick cows. When a cow uses antibiotics, that milk cannot be sold. By implementing herd management tools to oversee the cows’ health, DeLaval can help farmers tend to cows who are about to be sick before they need to use antibiotics. This results in less downtime, more milk, and less discarded milk.

“Meeting the SDG 12 is one of DeLaval’s key focus areas for our sustainability work. We strive to help dairy farmers around the world to have the best milking practices and healthy cows that don’t need to be treated with antibiotics. It is better for both the cow, food safety and for the overall profitability of the farm as more milk with higher quality can be produced and delivered to a processing plant. On top of that, each of us can contribute to reducing food waste by consuming dairy and other products in a responsible way. Did you know that it’s possible to consume milk even if it’s a few days beyond its ‘best-before’ date or freeze butter and some types of cheese to make them last longer and avoid food waste? Today we want to raise awareness about the issues resulting in food loss and waste, and we want to do our part to mitigate that both as a business and as a consumer,” says Nikolai Porkhov, acting Head of Sustainability.

An estimated 13 percent of the world’s food is lost in the supply chain from post-harvest prior to retail, and a further 17 percent of food is wasted in households, food services, and retail.