On September 26, the 7th Meeting Point against food waste is being held in Madrid, organized by the association of manufacturers and distributors AECOC. The event is bringing together major industry names, such as Sonae and Grupo Nufri, to learn about their strategies in food recovery, reuse and revaluation.
Currently, 5% of the world's food waste happens in the distribution stage. Europe generates 14% of the world's food waste and Spain is the seventh largest food waster on the continent, with 7.7 million tons.
Given this problem, the AECOC Board of Directors decided in 2012 to work on a project aimed at tackling the issue. This resulted in the collaboration of all links in the chain (primary sector, industry, distribution, administration and food banks) and the support of nearly 500 manufacturing and distribution companies in the consumer sector, as well as logistics and transport providers. Since the project's launch, the companies participating in the initiative have already managed to significantly reduce their waste, bringing it down to 0.7% of the total produced (the initial percentage was 1.71%).
One of the event's most prominent participants will be Sonae, the undisputed leader in retail and food in Portugal, which has a strategy against food waste with an impact on the entire supply chain. The director of sustainability and circular economy of Sonae MC, José Pedro Lago, will explain how the company launched the Transformar-te project in 2016, facing the challenge of reducing food waste through reduction, reuse and recycling. The company has undertaken strategies such as the sale at a reduced price of foods whose expiration date is approaching, the donation to social institutions or the transformation of products in order to minimize the waste generated by its activities.