As part of efforts to galvanise government entities, the private sector, NGOs, and communities across the nation into action to collectively address the pressing issue of food loss and waste in the UAE across the entire supply chain, Emirates Foundation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court, earlier this year launched Ne’ma, the National Food Loss and Waste Initiative which has the intention of acting as an umbrella initiative to align and catalyze national efforts to reduce food loss and waste by 50% by 2030 in line with SDG12.3.
In support of the project, the Foundation has signed an MoU with Accuro, the Dubai-based provider of world-class, cost-efficient food and support services, under the terms of which Accuro, in accordance with its core mandate, seeks to contribute to fulfilling Ne’ma objectives by supporting Emirates Foundation and its study service provider, Behavioral Insights Team (BIT), in the creation and implementation of a pilot intervention scheme that will road-test changes in behavior that may contribute to food loss and waste reduction.
Speaking on the announcement, His Excellency Ahmed Talib Al Shamsi, CEO of Emirates Foundation said: “Through a range of collaborations with local, regional ,and international bodies, we are aiming to directly target food loss and waste reduction, whether at farm, manufacturer, distributor, retailer, restaurant or household. This MoU with Accuro will help us to uncover the root causes behind current behavior and allow us to strategize the piloting of ‘nudges’ to create a new social norm around responsible buying, storing, preparation and consumption of food.”
His Excellency explained that establishing a UAE-wide baseline for food loss and waste will give the means to quantify the problem, identify potential hotspots and enable informed decision-making in order to better tackle food loss and waste.
He added: “The Ne’ma initiative is about increasing public awareness of the issues arising and enabling a change in current waste-related behaviour, promoting more positive and sustainable habits that contribute to preserving our precious food resources in line with the UAE’s national food security strategy of halving food waste by 2030. Accuro will support Ne’ma by delivering a range of strategies designed to reduce food loss and waste in staff canteens and cafeterias, including the selection of sites for pilot projects, providing orientation and training to key staff and measuring and record food waste data during the pilot, and we anticipate that our collaboration will bear fruit for years to come that support the behavioral change we aspire to achieve.”
Scott Duran, CEO of Accuro commented on the announcement: “Our dedicated team of professionals provide in-depth specialist knowledge and understanding in healthcare, corporate and education sectors.
Our success has been and will continue to be, founded upon our passion for what we do. It is this passion and focuses which sets us apart from other providers in the market.
The MoU between Emirates Foundation and Accuro ensures that the Ne’ma initiative will benefit from their joint strategic objectives and recognized expertise and contribute to the development of the UAE community, by addressing over-consumption, building a UAE-wide social commitment to be responsible for more sustainable solutions to the problem, and supporting the UAE’s dedication to traditional values and good stewardship of national resources.