5 October, 2020
Spain is a fishing power with one of the EU’s largest fishing fleets (21.2% of the EU’s total in 2018) and the EU country with the largest number of catches (17.7% in 2018) as well as Europe’s main exporter, as pointed out by Ana Romero, research and technical assistance specialist for agriculture, rural development and food security at Incatema Consulting & Engineering, during the webinar held on 29 September for the first International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste that Incatema has sponsored in collaboration with the FAO.
From Incatema “we transfer our accumulated knowledge and experience in the farming and fisheries sector in Spain to the countries where we operate” indicates Romero. As an example, she highlights the Study and Development of Proposals for the Directorate General of Fisheries of São Tomé and Príncipe intended to make use of catch discards for industrial use or consumption. We also design an On-Board Quality System to improve fish handling on the boats and to reduce losses and waste in the fishing sector, which occurs across all stages of the chain”.
Along those lines, the company has developed projects in countries such as Ghana, Senegal, and Haití. Currently, Incatema Consulting & Engineering is leading the Ecofish programme, involving 26 countries of the Indian Ocean and Western Africa, funded by the European Union and managed from the EU Delegation to Mauritius and the Seychelles and which seeks to support the management and governance of maritime and continental fisheries to contribute to the population’s nutritional and food security, improvement of marine biodiversity and poverty reduction in coastal communities.
In this regard “our commitment to Food Security is an intrinsic part of the company insofar as we direct our efforts at taking the development reached in Spain to those countries that still fall short of this welfare level.” This is the development spirit that we have reflected in the collaboration agreement signed with the FAO and aimed at contributing to fulfilling the target established for development goal ODS 2 of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda”.
According to data of the FAO, in those regions with high and average income levels such as Europe, North America and Oceania, and also in Asia, product losses in the fisheries sector occur mainly in distribution and consumption, whereas in lower-income geographical zones, which are the countries where Incatema Consulting & Engineering operates, most of the losses occur during catches, but especially post-catch in processing and distribution and much less in the home. Food losses in the fisheries sector responds to different causes that the company seeks to resolve in the projects it undertakes.
A third of all food produced globally ends up in the trash.
Approximately one third of all food produced worldwide is lost in the supply chain from the point of harvesting to the to point of sale, as laid down in the FAO’s Report on ‘The State of Food and Agriculture 2019’. This waste of food and resources not only makes it difficult to eradicate hunger on the planet, but also has a strong impact on food security and the large volume of emissions brought about by the production of food, which aggravates the problem of climate change.
The meeting has involved the participation of Máximo Torero, Chief Economist of the FAO, Ana Díaz, Deputy Director of Food Quality and Sustainability of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food of Spain (Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación - MAPA); Divine Njie, Deputy Director of Food Systems and Food Security of the FAO ; María Martínez-Herrera, Responsible for Food Safety and the Environment of the Association of Supermarket Companies (Asociación de Empresas de Supermercados - ASEDAS); Carmen Redondo, Director of Institutional Relations of the Spanish Confederation of Consumer and User Cooperatives (Confederación Española de Cooperativas de Consumidores y Usuarios - HISPACOOP) and Ana Romero, responsible for international development projects at Incatema Consulting & Engineering.
“More than 70 % of companies already have a specific strategy for fighting against food waste”, as explained by Ana Díaz, deputy director of food quality and sustainability of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Ministerio de Agricultura, Pesca y Alimentación - MAPA).
You can download all speakers’ presentations here