Ne’ma aims to encourage public and private sector entities to collectively tackle food waste
Ne’ma, a new national initiative to address the problem of food loss and waste, has been launched in the country.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, attended the launch of the National Food Loss and Waste Initiative.
Ne’ma aims to encourage public and private sector entities to collectively address food waste and encourage responsible consumption to preserve food resources for a sustainable future.
“Guided by the values of the late Sheikh Zayed, we thank God for our nation’s resources and are determined to conserve them. The launch of Ne’ma, the National Initiative on Food Loss and Waste, further strengthens the UAE’s ongoing efforts towards food security and sustainable development,” said Sheikh Mohamed.
The initiative was developed by the Court of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the Emirates Foundation and the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.
It will help achieve the UAE’s goal of reducing food waste by 50% by 2030 in order to achieve the country’s food security strategy and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“Guided by the values of our founding fathers and forefathers on rational food consumption, we are determined to pass on our values and behaviors deeply rooted in our Emirati society to our present and future generations to achieve sustainability,” Sheikh Mohamed said. added.
He urged community members to embrace a culture of shared responsibility and commitment and to correct societal behaviors and practices that cause food waste.
Data from the 2021 Food Sustainability Index produced by The Economist Impact and the Barilla Foundation showed that in rich countries consumers are wasting more food and in developing countries food losses occur before reach the consumer. The 2021 edition revealed that Sweden, Japan, Canada, Finland and Austria have the most sustainable food systems in the world.
According to estimates, an average person in the UAE wastes about 196 kg of food per year.
The new initiative comes at the right time, launched well before the holy month of Ramadan, when food waste occurs more in the UAE.
In recent years, the government has implemented several projects to manage food loss and waste.
One of the successful initiatives was the UAE Food Bank launched in 2017. Aiming to distribute surplus food to people in need, the charity initiative was able to distribute over 10 million meals in 2021.
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