Fighting Food Loss begins with Coordination and Collaboration

Women sifting through tomatoes ready to sell to customers

This post was originally featured on Securenutrition.org written by Chase Keenan and Renee Vuillaume for the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, GKI’s partner in the Postharvest Loss Alliance for Nutrition Network (PLAN) Recent studies in Nigeria estimate that if we could reduce food loss and waste of a single crop—tomatoes—by 25% we could improve the diets of nearly one and a half million children by providing them with the required daily dose of Vitamin A. These aren’t additional tomatoes that need to be grown, these are grown tomatoes that don’t get eaten. In a country where upwards of 30% of all children are Vitamin A deficient, this seemingly simple solution of ensuring the food that farmers grow gets eaten could make a huge difference. But we know it isn’t that simple. Addressing postharvest loss of nutritious foods is complicated. Changes must occur at the intersection of agriculture, transportation, energy, environment, policy, trade, and public health, among other sectors. While challenging, this reveals a critical piece of the solution: collaboration among disparate fields and connection between businesses and the knowledge and resources they need to reduce losses in their operations. To this end, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) created the Postharvest Loss Alliance for Nutrition (PLAN), which seeks to (1) coordinate measurable actions to reduce losses in perishable and nutritious food supply chains, and (2) increase access to these foods for vulnerable populations.  Launching the Network In partnership with the Global Knowledge Initiative (GKI), we launched the PLAN Network in May 2017, hosting an event that brought together agribusiness, finance and investing, government, and social sector actors from Nigeria and the United States. Together, they began laying the foundation for their common objective: connect agriculture businesses in low-resource countries to the information they need to improve their operations, reduce losses in their supply chains, and ultimately bring more nutritious foods to market. During the launch, PLAN members imagined what the network could accomplish, and zeroed in on several key […]

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