Opportunities in food circular economy necessitates key stakeholders working together

There are incredible opportunities for the creation of jobs and sustainable livelihoods and addressing food security in the municipalities of South Africa by understanding the complexities of food loss and waste within the circular economy. Under a five-year programme on the Circular Economy, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) undertook a project focused on food loss and waste in the pilot District Development Model (DDM) municipalities of eThekwini, Waterberg and OR Tambo.

There are several challenge that need to be addressed. The first is to define what food loss and waste is and to quantify it. Data around food loss and waste is not readily available at a district and local municipality level. The second challenge is the silo mentality of government and non-government entities in addressing food loss and waste, which is a recurring problem.

The solutions include innovation in rapidly assessing what exists in terms of food loss and waste, so as to define opportunities for the circular economy. Addressing food loss and waste also requires many entities across different sectors to work with one another and to establish a network of stakeholder in the public and private sectors within the district municipalities. This is required to build impetus in finding solutions and understanding the food loss and waste streams and capacitating all stakeholders in the municipalities.

The Southern Africa Food Lab, in partnership with the Seriti Institute and AfricaScope, were commissioned to create a picture of food loss and waste activities at different stages of the food value chain in three DDM municipalities of eThekwini, Waterberg and O.R Tambo.

To hear more on the study and the work done in the eThekwini, Waterberg and OR Tambo District Municipalities click on the images below.

Study Overview

Case study – Ethekwini Metro

Case study – OR Tambo District

Case study – Waterberg District

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