Emirates Red Crescent to support bid to cut UAE food waste and help the needy

National Food Waste Initiative and ERC will work with restaurants, food outlets and the hospitality sector to donate food surplus to disadvantaged families

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The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) has signed a partnership with the National Food Waste Initiative (Ne'ma) to reduce food waste in the UAE.

The agreement outlines that the two organisations will work together to collect food surplus from restaurants, food outlets and the hospitality sector to redistribute it to the less fortunate.

It will also build on the work they have been carrying out to redistribute food surplus to disadvantaged families.

The initiative will contribute towards achieving the UAE's target of reducing food waste by 50 per cent by 2030, Abu Dhabi Media Office said on Thursday.

The agreement was signed by Ahmed Taleb Al Shamsi, chief executive of Emirates Foundation on behalf of Ne'ma, and Hamoud Abdullah Al Junaibi, Secretary General of Emirates Red Crescent.

The partnership will support the national strategy to cut food waste, as well as build on the work of ERC's Hefth Al Nema project and Ne'ma's National Food Rescue Working Group, to redistribute food surplus to disadvantaged families.

"Ne'ma initiative takes pride in having Emirates Red Crescent as a significant partner in our mission to reduce food loss and waste across the UAE," Mr Al Shamsi said.

"As the key stakeholders of the ecosystem come together and displayed combined capabilities, we have established a robust network for rescuing and redistributing food nationwide, maximising our full potential in attaining our objectives."

ERC and Ne'ma have already co-operated on numerous food rescue and redistribution initiatives this year.

The Zero Food Waste initiative was launched during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, in which 3,000 kilograms of food waste was collected and diverted from landfill, 400kg of food surplus was redistributed and about 1,000 meals were donated in three days.

During Ramadan, about 2,000kg of food leftovers were rescued and recycled from the Abu Dhabi Energy Centre as part of the Hefth Al Nema project.

The partnership announcement comes a week after the UAE Food Bank launched an initiative to reduce food waste by 30 per cent by 2027.

The new strategy aims to raise the sustainability through long-term planning, as well as supporting farmers and working with food establishments, companies and hotels to donate excess food and reduce waste.

It also aims to divert surplus food from landfill and reduce wastage by 30 per cent in four years.

Updated: June 15, 2023, 4:45 PM