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Danfoss conducts survey to assess sustainable food consumption

Residents in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Saudi Arabia take action to reduce food waste, survey reveals

| | Jun 11, 2018 | 5:16 pm
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Dubai, UAE, 11 June 2018: Danfoss, the engineering solutions provider, commissioned a survey to assess the sustainable food consumption of residents in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and how well they are complying with their governments’ appeal to reduce food waste, the company said in a Press communiqué.

According to Danfoss, the survey revealed that 83% of respondents understand the impact of food waste on the environment and 77% actively take action to reduce their food waste footprint.

Food waste is a serious issue in the Middle East and has increased in recent years due to the surge in hotels, restaurants and cafeteria openings in the region, which send large amounts of food waste to landfills, the communiqué said. In Saudi Arabia, it was recently revealed by Al Arabiya that the estimated cost of waste per year is USD 13.3 billion, amounting to one-third of the country’s food production, the communiqué further said. Similarly, in the United Arab Emirates, 40% of waste generated in the country is derived from food waste, while in Egypt the average Egyptian throws away around 73 kilograms of food each year, the communiqué added.

Ziad Al Bawaliz, Regional President, Turkey, Middle East and Africa, Danfoss, said, “The food consumption habits in the Middle East are some of the most concerning in the world and this has a significant impact on the global environment, whether it’s because of overflowing landfills or the emission of greenhouse gases as a result of the food waste.”

According to Danfoss, the reduction of food waste helps the environment by diminishing the landfill stream of decomposing food, which releases methane gas and, in turn, contributes to global warming. Fortunately, initiatives are already being put in place to ensure this proposed reduction becomes a reality, especially during Ramadan, the communiqué said. Saudi Arabia, for example, has launched a national program to tackle the issue of food waste, while in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is planning to be the first city in the Middle East to achieve zero food waste through the UAE Food Bank, a non-profit charitable organisation launched last year, the communiqué further said. Wasteless Egypt, a mobile phone application that was launched last year in cooperation with the Egyptian Food Bank, lets residents donate leftover food and clothes to the less fortunate areas with the click of a button, during Ramadan and year-round, the communiqué added.

According to Danfoss, such initiatives have had a positive impact on residents with 79% of survey respondents claiming they are especially more conscious of the food they waste during Ramadan because of the numerous food-saving activities taking place. However, that is not to say they are unaware the other 11 months of the year – 68% of respondents often take home their leftovers when they eat at a restaurant and 83% would, if given the opportunity, give their leftovers to the less fortunate, the communiqué said.

Al Bawaliz said: Through this survey, we wanted to spread awareness on the issue of food waste. These results are extremely positive; proving that the Middle East region is finally starting to sit up and take notice of the damage being caused to the environment through their own actions is everything we could wish for. It is my hope that the Middle East continues on this path and achieves the goal of zero food waste.”

According to Danfoss, the survey was conducted by YouGov in May 2018, with 3,000 participants from across the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.


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