The Dow Chemical Company, a United States-based corporation with operations in Africa and across the globe, is partnering with manufacturers to reduce food wastage by using minimal environmentally-friendly packaging.
Giuliano Butti, the firm’s Value Chain Manager for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, says sustainable packaging technology helps manufacturers keep food fresher for longer and prevent product spoilage thus minimising costs.
“Packaging does not pollute the environment. It is human behaviour that causes littering. Packaging has a critical role in curbing food wastage. Research has shown that up to half the food loss can be reduced by better packaging,” Mr Butti told a regional stakeholder forum in Nairobi, Kenya.
“As a company, we are accelerating innovation, but also enhancing collaborating across the value chain, to deliver environmental, economic and social value to Kenyans,” he added.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations estimates that a third of the food produced for consumption every year, estimated at 1.3 billion tonnes, goes to waste. This is while 870 million people globally are undernourished.
Dow Sub-Saharan Africa President, Craig Arnold, said packaging solutions, if well adopted, can transform agribusiness.
“This can be done by helping farmers pack at the farm hence generating more value out of their produce, while increasing product shelf-life,” he elaborated.
Arnold said that besides addressing food wastage, sustainable packaging also contributes towards cleaner cities through effective waste management.
“Population continues to grow with more people living in cities. At the centre of all this is the critical need for education to change human behaviour. Through industry-wide collaborations, we can address food wastage and environmental pollution,” he explained.