Mapping The Food Waste Prevention Ecosystem in Turkey
An Introduction to Stakeholders In Food Waste Prevention
The scale of food waste in the world is staggering. Every year around the globe, 1,3 billion tonnes of food are lost or wasted. That is 1/3 of all food produced for human consumption. Food loss and waste mean loss and waste of resources, including water, land, energy, labor, and capital. It also means needlessly produce greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change and global warming (1).
According to FAO Report, «food loss and waste is the decrease in quantity or quality of food along the food supply chain.»Food loss happens along the food supply chain from harvest up to, but not including, the retail level. Food waste occurs at the retail and consumer levels (2). Food waste is an economic and also ethical issue. Wasted food accounts for about 8 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, and hunger is still a significant problem globally. In 2019, nearly 750 million people were exposed to severe levels of food insecurity. Approximately 2 billion people did not have regular access to safe, nutritious, and sufficient food (3).
Unfortunately, the food waste problem in Turkey is not different from the rest of the world. According to the 2021 UN Food Waste Index Report, 93 kilograms of food per person is thrown away every year in our country(4). In 2020, Turkey’s National Strategy Document on Prevention, Reduction, and Monitoring of Food Loss and Waste and its Action Plan was published. It was the first national strategy document on this subject. However, food loss and waste prevention is not a new topic for Turkey. In 2013, a key initiative named “the Bread Waste Prevention” campaign was launched, with preliminary work dating back to 2008. The campaign was a real success, with an 18% reduction in bread waste. FAO recognized the “Bread Waste Prevention Campaign” as a good practice contributing to preventing waste in the world (5). However, even if there is an increase in consumer consciousness towards preventing food waste and loss, it is still a huge problem. As we mentioned earlier, 93 kilograms of food per person is thrown away every year in Turkey. Households throw away mostly fruit and vegetables (42%), followed by milk and dairy products (41%) (Nielsen, 2019). According to a study conducted by the Ministry of Trade in 2018, 5.4% of consumers stated that they throw away leftovers, with approximately 23% of the food bought going to waste(6).
Tackling the food waste problem can have far-reaching benefits that go beyond saving money. By preventing or reducing food loss and waste, we directly contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 2 Zero Hunger, Goal 12 Responsible Consumption and Production, and Goal 13 Climate Action.
Retrieved from: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/
Tackling food waste can not be achieved without cooperation between actors. Government, businesses, individuals, startups, NGOs, IGOs are all involved in this journey. We recently published a feature highlighting the Food Waste Startups in Turkey, and in this map, we have enlarged our focus and published the main stakeholders in preventing food waste and loss.
Building The Map
Governmental and Public Organizations
We started our research to understand which governmental organizations are involved in preventing food loss and waste. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is very active in the process. To raise public awareness of food loss and waste in cooperation with FAO, The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry launched the national “Save Your Food Campaign” in Turkey. We searched for governmental organizations working for a better food waste prevention ecosystem and putting them on our map. As a result, you will find many governmental and public organizations engaged in the fight against food loss and waste.
As Kök Projekt, we are an agri-food startup accelerator. We follow startups carefully. We strongly support them and work to provide greater visibility for them. We believe our map would serve this purpose. The startup world is a fast-changing and evolving ecosystem. We have improved our startup data, aggregate it, and then categorize it. While classifying our data, we’ve searched for the primary purpose or value proposition of each team. We organized 11 startups under five categories; the first is inventory optimization/food redistribution, the second is upcycling, the third is biotechnology, the fourth o packaging and holistic waste management. We believe that each works for a better food supply chain and offers innovative solutions for food waste management.
In Turkey, there are many national and international firms operating in the food sector. As Kök Projekt, we are an innovation partner of the food, agriculture, and water sector companies. Thus we follow the corporates in the industry closely as well. In recent years, corporates are also engaged in the battle against food waste and loss. When we build our map, we use our corporates database, search for the internet, and select the firms engaged in the food waste prevention journey. For example, METRO markets launched Metro Food Movement to prevent food loss and waste along the food supply chain, especially on food production and retail levels. We searched which companies are engaged in the battle for food waste prevention. You will find many more corporate firms involved on our map.
NGOs and IGOs are active in the prevention of food waste and loss. For example, Istanbul Commodity Exchange manages a campaign called “Stop Food Waste” with an objective of zero waste. Moreover, FAO works closely with the government to combat food waste and loss. Food Rescue Association (Gıda Kurtarma Derneği), Basic Needs Association (TİDER), and many others work hard to gain the battle against food waste.
New technologies around the globe may help to measure how much food is wasted to prevent it or upcycle it. Today, startups use new technologies adequately, but they need capital. Investment funds are critical players for the primary concern of startup: Funding. Investors play a vital role in the start-up world. In our map, for the investor’s section, you will find Galata Business Angels and EGİAD.
You can reach the 2021 Food Waste Prevention Ecosystem Map here.
This is not a full-scale map of the Food Waste Prevention Ecosystem of Turkey. For more information: