The Abu Dhabi Agriculture and Food Safety Authority (ADAFSA) is intensifying its efforts to develop an integrated strategy to reduce food loss and waste (FLW) and improve the efficiency of the production chain, as part of its commitment to its central role in agricultural and food sustainability in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
ADAFSA stated on the occasion of the World Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste, observed on 29th September of each year, that the strategy to reduce FLW is based on several fundamental pillars. These include the development and updating of legislation related to agriculture and food safety, launching programs and initiatives aimed at changing behavior regarding food production and consumption from farm to table, and implementing training programs for workers in food agricultural establishments. Additionally, it includes awareness campaigns targeting various segments of society, urging them to rationalize consumption and reduce waste to ensure food security sustainability.
The development and updating of the legislative system is one of the most important pillars of the FLW reduction strategy, as good practices in handling food help to reduce food spoilage, which is one of the most important causes of FLW throughout the food chain. ADAFSA has issued a package of legislation regarding food safety during the stages of the food chain. They have also issued illustrative guidelines for food establishments, explaining the legislation simply and easily, along with guidelines for good agricultural practices that help reduce loss and waste during harvesting and transportation processes.
ADAFSA has also issued a guidance manual on reducing food waste in the catering sector. This manual was developed in accordance with best practices in the development of legislation, as included in its guide for the development of legislation and policies. The draft of this manual, which is the first of its kind in this field, came in line with government directives and ADAFSA’s strategic plan, as it is part of the food security system.
According to the statement, “This manual was developed to provide guidance and assistance to the food service sector to contribute to enhancing food security and protecting the environment by reducing food waste by ADAFSA’s legislation regarding food safety and international best food waste reduction practices. This manual follows the strategies outlined by FAO regarding food waste reduction, emphasizing environmentally friendly options and improving the economic and environmental efficiency of food agricultural sectors by using food waste in organic fertilizers.”
ADAFSA urges all stakeholders in the food chain to avoid behaviors and habits that lead to FLW throughout the chain, from the farm to the table. It emphasizes that the most significant food waste occurs during the stages from harvest to retail, highlighting the necessity to care for products through these stages and follow advice and guidelines that reduce food loss.
The Authority also encourages consumers to steer away from negative eating habits and begin reducing food quantities prepared and purchased to their needs, considering proper storage requirements, safe shopping, and other positive behaviors to preserve and reduce food waste.