Note: This event will be completely in Mandarin. (with the exception of Shanghai Soup, who will be presenting in English with Chinese translation)
Globally, about a third of all produced food is lost or wasted during production and consumption. Approximately 1.4 billion hectares, or close to 30% of the available agricultural land, is used to grow food that is subsequently wasted.
Given the need for an increase in food production in the coming years to feed a growing population, reducing food waste would be essential to reduce the burden on farm land and natural resources. Reducing food waste conserves energy and resources, reduces pollution during manufacturing, transporting, and sale, and also the logistics involved in hauling the food waste to landfill sites. Most of the food waste today is landfilled, a practice that is not environmentally sustainable as food breaks down to produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.
The reasons for food waste vary among different countries. In developing countries there are high levels of what is known as “food loss”, which is unintentional wastage, often due to poor equipment, transportation and infrastructure. In wealthy countries, there are higher levels of “food waste”, i.e. food thrown away by consumers because they have purchased too much, or by retailers who reject food because of exacting aesthetic standards.
In China serious problems of food waste, natural resource scarcity, and overflowing landfills occur along with rising household incomes, urban populations, and overall food consumption. Over 200 billion yuan worth of food is thrown away annually nationwide, even as 128 million Chinese live below the poverty line. In China, which accommodates 20% of world’s population but only 7% of its arable land, and where farmers often adopt highly chemical intensive agricultural practices that continuously affect the fertility of the available land, food waste is a serious problem that needs to be urgently addressed.
In support of the World Food Day (October 16), our event focuses on food production and waste, and some questions we would be looking to answer in this forum:
- What’s special about food waste problem in China (restaurants, consumer behaviors, traditions)?
- How to deal with food waste arising out of cultural backgrounds?
- How can technology and big data help decrease food waste?
- How to control food waste at home?
Zhuoya Li, Director of Operation and co-founder of Enwise
Background: Long-term commitment to China's organic waste processing. To fully develop pry mounted and modular processing technology. Also responsible for the development and production of equipment. Currently, the company is focusing on turning organic kitchen waste into clean energy, and provide the clean energy to restaurants and oversellers. She also loves history and music.
Subject: The present situation of organic waste generation and disposal in China
Matthew Hollas & David Wellstead, co-founders of Shanghai Soup
Background: Matthew Hollas and David Wellstead are two co-founders of Shanghai Soup, an initiative started in 2016 to promote food waste awareness and provide resources for micro-funding projects in Shanghai. Matthew Hollas with a background in Sociology, Project Management, and university administration. And David With a background in Environmental Biology, Biogeochemistry, and senior leadership within schools. Matthew and David all has been working in the education sector for over seven years in both the UK and China, they are currently based in Shanghai.
Subject: How much food is wasted in cities and potential solutions for food waste problem in China.
Qiuxia Zhang, the director-general of Food Bank
Background: Transformed from entrepreneur to public personnel in 2014, participate in the exploration of how to solve the problem of urban food waste, participate in the initiation, creation and local practices of food Banks. China food bank network, Solve production with the city food bank network, the problem of food waste in bulk prepackaged food in circulation area; In the form of a community food bank, and try to solve the waste of food waste within 1.5km of your surroundings.
Subject: Solutions to urban food waste