Africa|Building|Environment|Gas|Packaging|Storage|supply-chain|Sustainable|Systems|Training|Waste|Waste Management|Packaging|Waste
Africa|Building|Environment|Gas|Packaging|Storage|supply-chain|Sustainable|Systems|Training|Waste|Waste Management|Packaging|Waste
africa|building|environment|gas|packaging-company|storage|supply chain|sustainable|systems|training|waste-company|waste-management|packaging|waste

National food loss, waste reduction strategy on the cards

6th February 2024

By: Schalk Burger

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment’s (DFFE's) Draft Strategy for Reducing Food Losses and Waste, published for comment in September 2023, will likely result in a newly promulgated national food loss and waste strategy in 2024, says alternative waste treatment company BiobiN South Africa director Brian Küsel.

“Businesses that produce large volumes of food waste will need to make provisions to divert their waste through alternative waste treatment methods, like composting for example.

“Numerous waste regulations have come into effect in recent years with the intention to divert more waste from landfill and improve recycling rates. We have seen this with the extended producer responsibility regulations and the waste classification regulations,” he notes.

The food and organic waste stream in South Africa generates about 12.6-million tonnes of food loss and waste a year.

The majority of South Africa’s food losses and waste, or 68%, occur in the early stages of production, with 19% occurring during post-harvest handling and storage, and 49% during processing and packaging. Of the food that is wasted, 44% is vegetables and fruits, 26% grains, 15% meat and the remaining 13% consists of oilseeds, tubers and roots.

Further, while the Western Cape has set ambitious targets for eliminating organic waste from landfill completely by 2027, the new Strategy for Reducing Food Losses and Waste will likely propose similar targets at a national level.

If this is the case, the food production sector will need to make significant changes to reduce food loss and waste along the supply chain, Küsel says.

The proposed Draft Strategy for Reducing Food Losses and Waste introduces a holistic approach to sustainable food and organic waste management through the introduction of four strategy goals.

These include creating an enabling environment for the implementation of food losses and waste strategy as its first goal, food losses and waste beneficiation and circular economy as it second, capacity building, education and awareness training as its third goal, and food waste diversion and greenhouse gas emission reduction as its fourth goal.

“We highly encourage businesses to be proactive with their food and organic waste management. If you have not already done so, look at implementing an on-site organic waste management solution, preferably an in-vessel composting unit. These are clean and highly efficient systems for processing large volumes of organic waste,” he advises.

“When a new draft strategy is implemented, it will likely bring more stringent organic waste regulations, which will place more responsibility on businesses.”

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online




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