The rapid increase in the world population and the deepening of the dimensions of the global climate crisis make it more difficult for humanity to reach food every day. The “Protect Your Food - Protect Your Table” Campaign, organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry in cooperation with the International Food Organization (FAO) in order to prevent food-related loss and waste, has left 1 year behind.
First Lady Emine Erdoğan and Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Birol Celep, Deputy Coordinator of Aegean Exporters' Associations, and Hayrettin, President of Aegean Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters' Association, who participated in the "Protect Food - Protect Your Table Campaign 1st Year Event" held at the Ankara Campus of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry with the participation of Bekir Pakdemirli. The aircraft emphasized the increasing importance of food for humanity.
Explaining that 850 million people in the world are facing hunger and yet so many are struggling with obesity, Aegean Exporters' Unions Deputy Coordinator Birol Celep said that Turkey not only meets its own food needs but also exports food products worth 18 billion dollars annually. He stated that in order to maintain its position, it must use water resources efficiently by preserving its 24 million hectares of agricultural land.
Emphasizing that the “Protect Food - Protect Your Table Campaign” of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry made Turkey realize its richness, Celep said, “The project reminded us that we should concentrate on Food Banking in Turkey. We should invest in food banking with our local governments and non-governmental organizations. 61% of food waste comes from our homes. We need to raise awareness about it,” he said.
Loss and wastage in fresh fruit and vegetables 50 percent
Pointing out that Turkey produced 2020 million tons of fresh fruit and vegetables in 55, Aegean Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Exporters' Association President Hayrettin Aircraft said that the fresh fruit and vegetables produced suffered losses in the production, processing, transportation and distribution processes, and wasted in the retail and consumption stages. He noted that half of the 55 million tons of fresh fruit and vegetables it produces cannot be consumed as a result of loss and wastage, and that it is aimed to reduce these losses with the “Protect Your Food – Take Care of Your Table” campaign.
Underlining that the distance covered by the “Protect Food-Take Care of Your Table” campaign in 1 year is very valuable, Uçar said, “Lost food is not limited to the loss of food. There is also a loss of energy, water, land, labor and time. If people continue to consume in the same way as in the past, the current world will not be enough for humanity. In 2015, world leaders gave 17 very important messages under the umbrella of the United Nations (UN). These messages cover many topics. The most striking issue among these messages is the environmental disaster. If we continue to consume as humanity as we have done so far, we will need three worlds in 2050. Therefore, we urgently need to change our production and consumption habits. We need to implement all policies on the axis of the climate crisis. We should focus on the European Union Green Harmony program. "Protect Your Food - Protect Your Table Campaign" of our Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will discipline us," he said.