Food and Beverage Manufacturing Business Group to implement FLW Protocol

RetailME Bureau

Established under the patronage of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Food and Beverage Manufacturing Business Group (FBMG) is launching an initiative to implement the FLW (Food Loss and Waste) Protocol in the UAE to reduce food wastage. The food saved through this protocol will go towards increased donations to the UAE Food Bank.

The initiative saw FBMG cooperate with the Food Bank, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Dubai Municipality, the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry and all food manufactures in the UAE who have pledged to collaborate with the Group on this initiative, following directives from the country’s top leaders. It includes the creation of a food data platform – a tool to analyse available data to formulate solutions to reduce waste.

The Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard (or FLW Standard) is a global standard that provides requirements and guidance for quantifying and reporting on the weight of food and/or associated inedible parts removed from the food supply chain, commonly referred to as ‘food loss and waste’. Using the standard enables countries, cities, companies and other entities to develop inventories of how much FLW is generated and where it goes.

As it stands, the UAE is wasting $4 billion worth of food every year. With the F&B manufacturing market in the UAE slated to grow from $11.3 billion in 2015 to $13.2 billion in 2018 – and with Dubai set to become the capital of the halal food economy – the FBMG is mobilising to address and contain food wastage, increasing food donations and reducing food prices in the process.

The initiative to reduce the waste comes under the efforts to observe the ‘Year of Giving’ initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, president of the UAE and supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces. In tandem, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, launched the UAE Food Bank in January 2017 to reduce food wastage in the UAE.

“Food loss and wastage is a serious concern for us and a key area for improvement. Keeping count of the losses will help us reduce them. FBMG is working to educate manufacturers and supply chain decision makers on the issue in the hopes to help them put a system in place to curb the phenomenon. This, along with the food data platform, is likely to create new opportunities for increased revenue for the manufactures, reduce food wastage and provide support to CSR activities such as the UAE Food Bank. Moreover, the initiative supports sustainability goals by reducing waste,” says FBMG chairman Saleh Abdullah Lootah.

“By implementing the FLW Protocol, in addition to launching the UAE Food Bank, the UAE is joining the global traction on reducing food wastage as part of its sustainable consumption strategy. This, in turn, falls in line with the United Nations’ current trajectory, which is working to harmonise and boost international efforts to confront the challenges that are facing our environment, and to alleviate poverty and hunger around the world,” adds Dr Iyad Abumoghli, director and regional representative of UNEP in West Asia.