The fridge is open all day for workers and anyone who requires food and drink. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News archives

Dubai: Residents and the food industry have been urged to implement zero tolerance on food wastage.

The call has been made on behalf of the UAE Food Bank and Dubai Municipality in support of the World Food Day, which will be observed with a wide variety of activities on October 16, the civic body said in a press release.

The programmes, organised by the Food Safety Department of Dubai Municipality, include a social media campaign with the hashtag, #ZeroFoodWaste, a food donation drive and competitions focused on the Zero Food Waste theme. Public will be encouraged to use the hashtag, #ZeroFoodWaste, on social media to promote the theme.

The municipality has invited food establishments and individuals to present innovative ideas, tools and methodologies for identifying food losses, their causes and potential solutions along the entire food value chain — from production, storage and processing to distribution and consumption. Participants can submit their ideas through the website www.foodsafetydubai.com by clicking the link #ZeroFoodWaste.

Members of the public along with Dubai Municipality employees are invited to join the UAE Food Bank and the Food Safety Department in supporting the World Food Day by participating in the social media campaign by sharing their creative thoughts, ideas and messages on ways and means to reduce food wastage on their favourite social media channels using the #ZeroFoodWaste hashtag. To participate in the ‘Most Creative Post Competition’, they can send the screenshot of their post to UAEfoodbank@dm.gov.ae.

Schools can participate in the poster and video competitions by creating a poster or a video that conveys a message regarding the reduction of food wastage.

Fill up fridges

‘Fill up the fridges’ campaign will be organised on the World Food Day through volunteers to ensure that all charity fridges are full with foods that can be donated to someone else without being wasted. Only packaged foods should be put in the Food Bank food fridges placed at mosques in different locations in the city.

“We as individuals as well as government and the food business have to commit ourselves to reducing food waste in Dubai and the UAE, whether it is by reducing portion sizes, communicating with consumers in a better way by identifying their expectations or by better stock management; every food business will be able to do something to reduce food waste,” said Khalid Mohammad Sharif Al Awadhi, assistant director-general of Dubai Municipality for Environment, Health and Safety Control Sector.

“According to the UN, one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally each year,” he noted.

“This loss and wastage occur throughout the supply chain, from farm to fork. Beyond food, it represents a wastage of labour, water, energy, land and other inputs.

“If food loss and waste were a country, it would rank as the third highest national emitter of greenhouse gases. By reducing loss and waste along the food value chain, healthy food systems can contribute to promoting climate adaptation and mitigation, preserving natural resources, and reinforcing rural livelihoods,” said Al Awadhi.

“It is also important to understand the role of Food Bank and learn what you can do to contribute to the bank without letting the food to go waste. On the World Food Day and days after that, we would like everyone to utilise the Food Bank food fridges located across the city,” he said.