The Food and Beverage Association of Ghana’s (FABAG) estimates show its members lose over GH¢200,000 every month to food waste.
The Association revealed that the loss occurs because, fresh products are rejected by large supermarket chains if they do not meet certain quality standards such as shape, size and appearance, regardless of their suitability for human consumption. In addition, many retail chains discard products before their expiring dates claiming that the products are either unsellable or generate negative impact to the retailer. In a quest to reduce and put to good use the food that goes to waste, Samuel Ato Aggrey, Secretary of FABAG, revealed that the Association is devising strategic plans in providing a sustainable means of nutrition to the less privileged in society.
He said that, “We are going to establish warehouses across the country where when you are hungry you can walk in and get some food to eat in order to ensure that people do not go hungry”. Aggrey made this known at the launch of the National Food Donors Encouragement Bill in Accra. Reducing food wastage and hunger has become a global discussion because every year about 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted globally with the Global Food Banking Report 2014 indicating that 800 million people do not have access to sufficient and nutritious food. Chairperson for the Parliamentary Select Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs, Kwaku Agyenim-Boateng also averred that the development of a food donors law in the country will go a long way to help socially deprived people in the community.
“The bill when completed, is going to be good especially for orphanages and mental homes where people dump their relatives without visiting them”, He added. Advocates for the National Food Donors Encouragement Bill, Food for All Africa also noted that the bill would help the food supply chain and set up standard compliance towards food donation in the country as well as institutionalize food donation and encourage business to contribute more towards creating sustainable means of nutrition for the vulnerable. Ghana loses GHS4.6 billion to the Cost of Hunger in Africa (COHA) project, which is equivalent to 6.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and so with the introduction of the Food Donors Encouragement Bill, food wastage will be reduced. It will, as well, accelerate the country’s effort in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 1, 2 and 12