16 October is United Nations World Food Day, the motto of which for this year is: “Our Actions ARE Our Future. Healthy Diets for a Zero Hunger World”. To mark World Food Day, the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Hungary’s Ministry of Agriculture and the Hungarian Food Bank Association held a joint event in Budapest.

The Ministry’s Deputy State Secretary Zsolt Belánszky-Demkó told those present that food wastage is becoming increasingly prevalent these days, and World Food Day is an excellent opportunity to draw people’s attention to the importance of prevention. “It is important for everyone involved to think about what they can change in their own environments to ensure that less food waste is generated, and that they consume food in a more environmentally friendly and sustainable manner”, he explained. He stressed that local production and distribution, and buying from local small producers, also plays a major role in assuring our farmers a secure livelihood and improving the retention capability of agriculture and rural areas.

The “Maradék nélkül” (Without Waste) programme launched by the National Food Chain Safety Office (NFCSO) is extremely important to the fight to reduce food wastage. Representatives of the food and retail industry, research institutes and universities are all cooperating in these efforts. The project informs consumers with relation to possible courses of action such as conscious and safe shopping, or the most efficient ways to store and handle foods.

President of the Hungarian Food Bank Association Balázs Cseh said that to mark World Food Day the Association traditionally launches a convoy of donations from the foods they have collected, thus also contributing to reducing the environmental impact caused by the disposal of waste food. In representation of the FAO, Assistant Director-General Vladimir Rakhmanin thanked the co-organisers and praised the activities of the Hungarian government, with which it is assisting global food efforts.