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Denmark, Vietnam launch joint campaign to reduce food wastage

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HCMC – Denmark’s Deputy Head of Mission Louise Holmsgaard and Nguyen Anh Minh, deputy director of the International Cooperation Department under the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), jointly launched a campaign against food loss and waste late last week to celebrate the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste commemorated on September 29.

The “Actions against Food Loss and Waste” campaign began with a photo exhibition opened to the public at the pedestrian zone around Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi during the weekend. The event also featured representatives from restaurants, hotels and schools, who came to present their ideas on how to reduce food loss and waste.

The campaign is an initiative of the Embassy of Denmark in Vietnam in collaboration with MARD and co-organized by the Center for Rural Economy Development. It will continue with seminars in Hanoi and HCMC on September 29 and October 2, respectively, where Danish and Vietnamese authorities and the private sector will meet to share the best practices and experiences over solutions and technologies across different agricultural sectors.

“Food loss and waste is a serious global concern and the timing is now more critical than ever with the Covid-19 pandemic. Research shows that one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally. This is a huge and awful loss given the fact that the number of people facing acute food insecurity could double this year to 265 million due to Covid-19 according to the UN World Food Program,” said Kim Højlund Christensen, Ambassador of Denmark to Vietnam.

According to a survey by CEL Consulting, in the first quarter of 2018, on an average, a quarter of the food produced in Vietnam was lost before it actually reached processing plants or distribution centers. The total losses were estimated at 8.8 million tons or US$3.9 billion, equivalent to 12% of Vietnam’s total agricultural value.

“For Denmark, the prevention of food loss and waste has been a national priority since 2010. Danish experts are happy to share innovative ideas and technologies gained during the past 10 years to inspire not only food producers and processors in Vietnam but also local consumers,” Christensen noted.

“I hope this campaign will help raise awareness and highlight the fundamental importance of responsible food production and consumption in achieving a sustainable and prosperous world for all,” he added.

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