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May 2016

Press Contact:

Anne Meerboth-Maltz
Tel. (312)781-5185
Fax (312) 781-5188

Messe Düsseldorf North America
150 North Michigan Avenue
Suite 2920
Chicago, IL 60601


FAO examines reasons and mechanisms of food loss in chickpeas, mangos, milk and rice

Between May and July 2016, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) is conducting extensive studies on the topic of food losses in various districts of India. This was made possible by the membership fees of the SAVE FOOD Initiative.

The scientific work targets all stages of the value chain for chickpeas, mangos, milk and rice, quantifies the losses and outlines counteraction methods. As a first step, the researchers use existing data from numerous Indian research institutes in the food or agricultural sector to later gain further insights from field studies. Farmers, processers, wholesalers and retailers as well as freight forwarders and storage operators were scientifically interviewed. In addition, shipments on the transportation routes were tracked in order to record the loss quantities. For mangos the researchers also interviewed employees in the export business.

These studies are an important prerequisite for reducing food losses in a targeted manner since they are a major problem especially in developing countries with the result that a large part of the produced food never reaches consumers. Ideally, the findings can be transferred to other food categories or similar markets applying generally valid mechanisms. Essentially, this study is about methods related to the creation of capacities along the supply chain and the targeted use of technologies but also training for producers, about setting up local warehouse storage and distribution centers as well as creating general awareness about greater efficiency and sustainability.

This study in India is the second of its kind funded by the SAVE FOOD Initiative. Before the 2014 staging of the interpack trade fair, food losses in Kenya were thoroughly researched. The results of this India Study will be presented at the SAVE FOOD Congress on the first day of the 2017 interpack trade fair (May 4 – 10) in Düsseldorf, Germany. From December 15 – 17, 2016 two other Messe Düsseldorf trade shows - packtech India and food pex India – will take place in Mumbai. Staged concurrently with drink technology India (by Messe München), these events will bring processing and packaging technologies to India and can make a considerable contribution to reducing food losses.

The SAVE FOOD initiative is a cooperation between the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Messe Düsseldorf GmbH against worldwide food losses and food waste. SAVE FOOD seeks to network between the relevant players in business, government and research, encourage dialogue and help to find solutions along the food value chain. Another goal is to initiate and promote special SAVE FOOD projects with support from industry. SAVE FOOD was launched in Düsseldorf, Germany in May 2011 with an international congress and an exhibition as part of interpack, the world’s leading trade fair for the packaging industry and the related processing sectors. More information at


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