Our goal is to be a nation where no food is wasted, says Almeheiri

Announces roadmap to reduce food loss in the country by 50 per cent by 2030

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Mariam bint Mohammed Almeheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, at the fourth National Dialogue on Food Security organised by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment with ne’ma, the National Food Loss and Waste Initiative, in Dubai on Sunday.  The theme of the event was ‘Call for Change: Reducing Food Loss and Waste in the UAE.’ photo: WAM
Mariam bint Mohammed Almeheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, at the fourth National Dialogue on Food Security organised by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment with ne’ma, the National Food Loss and Waste Initiative, in Dubai on Sunday. The theme of the event was ‘Call for Change: Reducing Food Loss and Waste in the UAE.’ photo: WAM

Published: Mon 20 Nov 2023, 12:16 AM

Mariam bint Mohammed Almeheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, on Sunday announced ‘Ne’ma Food Loss and Waste Reduction Roadmap,’ a strong action plan to reduce food loss and wasteage in the country by 50 per cent by 2030.

The roadmap was announced at the fourth National Dialogue on Food Security organised by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment with ne’ma, the National Food Loss and Waste Initiative, and held under the theme, ‘Call for Change: Reducing Food Loss and Waste in the UAE.’


The event, which featured high-level panel discussions, underlined the importance of a shared understanding of how food loss and waste play a critical role in achieving food security, sustainable consumption and circular ecosystems as well as mitigating climate risks.

The discussions focused on identifying challenges and solutions, and mapping hotspots of food loss and waste, systemic gaps, and best practices, with emphasis on mobilising the public and private sector as well as the wider community to change current consumption habits.


Announcing the strategic roadmap, Almeheiri said: “With only a few days to go before our nation hosts COP28, this event underlines the strong commitment of the UAE in addressing all sectors that have a defining role in addressing the impact of climate change. And food and agriculture systems play a pivotal role in this regard, especially with food loss and waste one of the core challenges that humanity must address as a priority”.

At COP28, the UAE is placing food and agricultural systems transformation at the heart of the discussions, said Almheiri, who launched the COP28 Food Systems and Agricultural Agenda — an ambitious plan to transform global food systems and ensure their long-term sustainability, earlier this year.

“The importance of addressing food loss and waste is a strategic imperative for the world,” explained Almeheiri.

“Today, according to World Food Programme, one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally. Further, it is estimated that all the food produced but never eaten would be sufficient to feed two billion people.”

Through the COP28 Food Systems and Agricultural Agenda, the UAE aims to bring together businesses, farmers, producer organisations and other non-state actors to drive progress across production, consumption, food loss and waste. “As part of mobilising national leadership, we are extending a global call to action, inviting all countries to ratify the Emirates Declaration on Resilient Food Systems, Sustainable Agriculture, and Climate Action,” Almeheiri added. She explained that at COP28, the UAE is looking at how to limit food wastage and the carbon impact of the food served. “To achieve this, we have launched a Sustainable Catering Strategy, which aims to demonstrate the potential of delivering sustainable food at scale.”

Explaining the new roadmap to curb food loss and waste, Almheiri said ne’ma is a compelling testament to the commitment and vision of our leadership to encourage social responsibility and promote sustainable practices nationwide. “Since its launch, ne’ma has delivered exceptional work — including food system mapping, setting goals and formalising a three-year strategy to reduce food loss and waste.”

The roadmap will serve as a collective effort to reduce food waste by creating new social norms, scaling best practices, and enabling policies across the entire food ecosystem, Almeheiri said. “Our strategy is to mobilise all the stakeholders and accelerate action with a holistic and government led approach. We will build capacity for food loss and waste monitoring, foster public private partnerships for food loss and waste solutions, leverage innovative approaches to build the circular economy and introduce new mandates and policies. Our goal is to become a nation where no food is wasted.”


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