WATCH: Food wastage in Qatar

WATCH: Food wastage in Qatar

QL Videos
By QL Videos

Food waste is a global problem, with a third of all food produced for human consumption failing to reach anyone’s stomach. GCC states produce tremendous amounts of food wastage, especially in proportion to the size and population of these countries.

In 2012, 1.4 million tonnes of food was consumed and wasted in Qatar, with an extra 14 percent, which is about 20 million kilograms, thrown away before it even reached the end-consumer.

Given that the staggering majority—more than 90 percent—of Qatar’s food is imported, these numbers look bleak indeed. But that is not to say that efforts are not being made to reverse the situation.

A joint research project by the name of SAFE-Q, focused upon ‘Safeguarding Food and Environment in Qatar’ was started in 2015. It involves Georgetown University in Qatar, Cranfield University and Brunel University in the UK and the Western Sydney University in Australia. 

The three-year project focuses upon documenting food waste in the country, and doing something about it. Finding ways to prevent and reduce food waste is one of its central aims.

Dr Zeynep Topaloglu is an Assistant Professor at Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) and the Co-Lead Principal Investigator of SAFE-Q research project. At the project’s commencement she took pains to point out that, “More than half of the municipal waste generated in the country contains discarded food. In a world where 1 in 9 people are hungry.”

Self-awareness is a major change that this project seeks to bring about in Qatar. Understanding the sheer amount of food that is unnecessarily wasted is an important step towards changing the dynamic of food culture in Qatar. It may not necessarily be that people knowingly or wilfully waste food, but rather that they do not know how to prevent doing so.

The research project is not only concerned with the every-day consumer, but also with the middlemen and sellers of food. As recently as April, they released information they observed regarding shoppers: “We study replenishment policies that anticipate consumers’ shopping patterns to minimise in-store food waste due to expiration while considering out-of-stock situations.

SAFE-Q also aims to help retailers monitor item-level expiry dates to ensure that outlets are not overstocked with goods that may be expired and thrown out before actually reaching the consumer.

In April they engaged with stakeholders to reduce food waste in Qatar and the Gulf, as well as volunteers from charities. They recently met with the founder of Wa’hab, a new start-up that collects excess food from grocery stores and restaurants and redistributes it to those in need. In this manner, the organisation aims to reduce food wastage in Qatar.

The results and conclusions of this project will be shared with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). UNEP assists developing countries in implementing environmentally sound policies and practices. The agency has already undertaken a food waste reduction initiative in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Those interested in supporting SAFE-Q research can participate in its survey through this link: https://cranfielduniversity.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7U8I9jiC5YgI5RX

PC: frenchfoodintheus.org

By zuma222• 17 May 2017 21:12
zuma222

Indeed food wastage is a concerned issue in Qatar.

wish I can see a person who will assist me with food throughout Ramadan.

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