The Supreme Council for Science and Technology (SCST) is the highest ranking STI (Science, Technology and Innovation) policy-making body in Turkey chaired by the Prime Minister with the decision-making power for national Science, Technology and Innovation policy. In the 22th meeting of SCST energy, water and food is determined as the most important subjects at national R&D. For each topic, R&D and Innovation Strategies were prepared. In “National Food R&D and Innovation Strategy” decreasing of food losses and wastes and utilization of energy and water is regarded as one of the main R&D topics.
General Directorate of Agricultural Research and Policy, the research body of Ministry of Food Agriculture and Livestock, creates Research Master Plans for each 5 year. Decreasing of food losses and wastes is one of the important research topics mentioned in the Master Plan.
SUSFOOD (Sustainable Food Production and Consumption), an Era-Net created in EU FP7 Program, has generated a Strategic Research Agenda. In that agenda one of the eight key research areas were defined as; redesign input, waste and side flow strategies to increase resource efficiency and provide added value in food products and processing, manufacture etc.
A theme of the food waste and losses has been neglected for a long time. But nowadays with the increase of hunger in the world, food waste and loss issue is high on the global food agenda. By 2050 food demand is likely increase by 40% to 70%. On the other hand, about a third of the food for human consumption is wasted globally – around 1.3 billion tons per year according to data released by FAO. Over 40% of food losses happen after harvest and during processing in developing countries.
This project focuses on the following themes:
• Compositional analysis of food waste and losses in Turkey, Italy, Germany and Slovakia.
• Food waste quantification in milk, meat and canning sectors.
• Training of production engineers in plants.
• Building awareness of waste problem.
• Reducing food waste and creating a sustainable food future.
The issue of food losses and waste has recently been given high visibility. According to FAO (2011), almost one-third of food produced for human consumption—approximately 1.3 billion tonnes per year is either lost or wasted. Food losses happen at the earlier stage of food chains; major issues are the post-harvest losses mainly in developing countries, the development of infrastructure and the most suitable technologies to address them while food waste happens at retailing and consumption stages mainly in developed countries but also as an increasing concern in developing countries. Food losses and waste can be first seen as a reduction of food availability for the poor and hungry. By reducing the amount of food available, they also have an impact on prices and thus on access to food. reducing food losses and waste would also reduce the pressure on natural resources. Reducing food losses and waste appears thus as emblematic of better resource efficiency, a key dimension of more sustainable food systems. The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in its thirty-ninth Session (October 2012) requested the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE), to undertake a study on ‘Food losses and waste in the context of sustainable food systems’ to be presented to the Plenary in 2014. Causes of food losses and of food waste are very different and call for very different solutions. Most of food losses can be traced back to biophysical, including biosafety aspects, or technical causes. Food waste is often linked to behavioural causes. Reducing food losses and waste appears thus as emblematic of better resource efficiency, a key dimension of more sustainable food systems.