In line with National Food Security Strategy
Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA), signs a partnership agreement with “ne’ma” – the National Food Loss and Waste initiative in the United Arab Emirates, to work on developing a national baseline for measuring food loss and waste in Abu Dhabi, which is in line with the National Food Security Strategy’s goal to reduce food loss and waste by 50% by 2030.
The agreement was signed by H.E. Saeed Al Bahri Al Ameri, Director General of ADAFSA on behalf of the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority, and H.E. Ahmed Al Shamsi, CEO of Emirates Foundation on behalf of “ne’ma” initiative. The signing ceremony took place in Abu Dhabi International Food Exhibition "ADIF", which is being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA).
This agreement comes in line with the efforts made by the Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) to reduce food loss and waste. Through a collaborative approach, ADAFSA will work together with “ne’ma” team on establishing a food loss and waste baseline for Abu Dhabi and set a quantified baseline. In particular, this project entails the development of a detailed overview of the food loss and waste including both, volume and value, across the food value chain. It also includes the primary areas for measurement of domestic food production, imports, food storage and logistics, food retail, hospitality, and households.
According to the agreement, surveys and interviews will be conducted on the food waste sector, to obtain an accurate view on the level of food lost and wasted at the main stages of the supply chain, including the main cause of waste, and identifying areas for improvement, in addition to conducting a survey and exclusive interviews tackling household food waste.
The goal is to form a granular view of what and where loss and waste occur across the value chain, what the root causes are, and understand the behavioural differences among the various segments of the population in Abu Dhabi, so that immediate and long-term improvements can be defined. This study will follow international standards and methodologies for food loss and waste measurements
Dr. Maryam Hareb Al Suwaidi, Deputy Director-General for Operational Affairs at ADAFSA said: “We are delighted to collaborate with “ne’ma” initiative, and we appreciate their efforts to reduce food loss and waste in the country. We strive together to achieve the goals of the agreement starting from the authority’s mission to control and inspect agricultural production inputs and food and agricultural materials imported or exported or produced in the country and circulated in the emirate, to ensure that the community obtains safe and healthy food”.
She added: “This agreement is in line with the authority’s mission, which was recently launched, and it states the importance of launching a national program that aims to reduce food loss and waste at the level of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. This program works collaboratively with “ne’ma” - the National Food Loss and Waste initiative in conducting a comprehensive assessment of the current situation, developing indices for measuring food loss and waste on a regular basis, and creating a legislative and legal system that supports all the initiatives that are related to the program. The program also aims to enhance the recycling and processing infrastructure and launch initiatives and awareness campaigns that achieve the shared vision of global leadership in food security”.
On this occasion, Khuloud Al Nuwais, Chief Sustainability Officer, at the Emirates Foundation and “ne’ma” Committee Secretary General said: “We are sincerely pleased to collaborate with Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority which comes within the framework of ne’ma initiative efforts to work with different relevant organizations. We strive through this agreement to develop a food loss and waste baseline in Abu Dhabi that identifies food loss and waste hotspots, reveal the extent of the challenge, and enable us to make informed and data-driven decisions and interventions and national reduction plan to achieve the strategic goal of “ne’ma” initiative”.
Al Nuwais added: “This collaboration aided to fulfil the urgent need to collect primary data for obtaining a credible quantitative estimation that can be used as an indicator to reduce food waste by half by 2030. This falls in line with the work of ne’ma initiative to integrate national efforts and motivate community members as well as institutions of the private and public sector, to innovate technical solutions to face the challenge of food loss and waste in the country”.
“ne’ma” initiative builds a national umbrella and collaborative approach with government entities and private sector institutions across the food value chain which includes farms, distributors, retailers, hospitality sector, food services, and community members. This collaborative approach aims to develop the right solutions for reducing the food loss and waste that occurs during the processes of production, processing, distribution, consumption, and disposal.