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08 July 2020, Ankara, Turkey  – FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Turkey organized a special session today with the Union of the Municipalities of Turkey (TBB) as the part of the joint SAVE YOUR FOOD campaign.

Launched in May, the Campaign released Turkey’s first National Strategy and Action Plan on the Prevention and Reduction of Food Loss and Waste developed in collaboration by FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Turkey, while taking into consideration reviews and recommendations of over 100 related stakeholders, ranging from private sector to NGOs and academia to interest groups.

The Strategy and Action Plan aim to empower and provide guidance for policy- and decision-makers, as well as the actors who actively engage on the matter, and accelerate efforts to prevent food loss and waste through adopting concrete solutions.

As per the initial step, a dedicated session was organized with the Union of the Municipalities of Turkey (TBB), which participation and support would be of utmost importance for a successful implementation of the Action Plan.

In his opening remarks,Viorel Gutu, Subregional Coordinator for Central Asia and FAO Representative in Turkey stated that the Action Plan of the Strategy comprises 95 concrete measures, including legal and policy, technical, education and communication measures, addressing the issue at each stage of the food value chain and continued as follows:

“Among these, as many as 33 targeted actions were identified to be taken by local authorities and businesses to further improve food waste prevention, separation, and reuse. Adequate support and guidance from the Union of the Municipalities of Turkey would be crucial to deliver on the targets.”

Fatma Şahin, President of the Union of the Municipalities of Turkey (TBB) emphasized that the majority of food lost – nearly 50 percent – were fruits and vegetables, while the daily bread waste amounted to nearly 4.9 million loaves. She underlined that one of the most significant functions of the municipalities is to collect and eliminate this waste.

“As municipalities are the closest institutions to the public, we aim to provide significant contribution to the Campaign and be the most influential partner” she added.

33 actions outlined in the Action Plan were introduced to the Union of the Municipalities of Turkey (TBB), said Bekir Pakdemirli, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of Turkey, emphasizing the municipalities’ significant role in the prevention and reduction of food loss and waste.

“We know that our municipalities carry out work on reevaluating the food wasted at marketplaces and we hope they popularize the necessary compost and biogas facilities in this regard. We would be glad to increase the support for logistics and cold chain technology to aid food donation in provinces and districts”, he added.

Dilara Koçak, a renowned nutritionist and an active campaign supporter, moderated the session.

After the opening remarks the meeting continued with a Q&A session.

About the FAO-Turkey Partnership Programme on Food and Agriculture (FTPP-II)

The objective of the FAO-Turkey Partnership Programme is to provide support to ensure food security and rural poverty reduction in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Established in 2007, the programme benefits from trust fund contributions totalling USD 20 million to date, financed by the Government of Turkey, and represented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

About İsmail Uğural

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