Innovations Session N°11

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Promoting Circular Economy & Reducing food losses and waste

The way forward

There is a whole area of economic development which will allow to save money and save the planet while promoting health diets.

There is a pressure from consumers as well as high-end markets such as the European Union (EU), where exporters need to meet sustainability standards related to prevent deforestation, excessive water use, better inclusion of small farmers, decent working conditions, and identification of alternatives to plastic packaging that producers will have to adapt to enter this market. The implementation of the EU Farm-to-Fork strategy is expected to reinforce these trends through the establishment of new regulations to comply with for suppliers from EU-partner countries. This can make exporting to the EU harder, especially for smaller firms. In this context, it is critical to support SMEs compliance through updated information on standards, capacity building, trainings and technical assistance.

Infrastructure and efficient logistics services are key to move goods from the production site to the final consumer avoiding spoilage. It is important to connect those who generate waste to those who use waste for productive resources to learn from each other and create value partnerships.

Access to finance to scale up remains a challenge, especially for smallholders, SMEs and entrepreneurs. The food industry competitiveness in many African countries is hampered by various factors which aggravate food loss and waste and need also to be addressed such as lack of infrastructure, limited finance for investments in processing, storage and cooling, high costs for inputs, lack of value chain organisation, and lack of stakeholder involvement in policy making and public-private dialogue.

Key points for discussion on SMEs and businesses contributing to reduce food loss and waste

  • What are the drivers of success in addressing food loss and waste: what innovations and technologies have proven to be successful and accessible to SMEs?
  • What type of investments are needed?
  • What incentives can be provided to SMEs and smallholders to better address?

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Join our Agrinnovators community forum to discuss and explore how to encourage innovations across agricultural value chains to transform food systems in Africa, promote sustainable agriculture, and leverage investment. Share insights, ask questions, and collaborate on innovative solutions for a greener future

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