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Moving Food and Reducing Waste

By ENN and Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) Movement on 8 March 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented changes to global food and agriculture sectors. Many governments have closed formal and informal retail outlets for food, and severely restricted the movement of citizens, with the production, processing, transportation, trade, and retail of food being profoundly affected. This has led to multiple shocks throughout the food system.

In the Philippines, AGREA, a group that aims to support the empowerment of local farmers by implementing sustainable agricultural practices and creating inclusive agribusiness livelihood programmes, began getting calls from farmers unable to move their produce. The group quickly set up the Move Food Initiative, an online, Google Form-based, fresh produce ordering platform, which facilitated food to move, at both producers’ and consumers’ end. The initiative has helped reduce food waste and post-harvest loss on the side of the farmers and on the consumers end, provided people who needed food but were not able to leave their homes because of the quarantine, access to fresh produce. By the end of November 2020, 191,447 kg of fruits and vegetables had been delivered, 28,122 farmers had been partnered with, and fruits and vegetables had been served to 78,177 families and 4,690 frontline workers.

The story of the Move Food Initiative offers some insights for other countries who are struggling to ensure that produce moves from farm to consumers, and for whom practical solutions to food waste and post-harvest losses are limited. It also shows how women are leading from where they stand, to scale up nutrition.

For more information, read the solutions brief here.

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