Volunteer prepares food packages
Volunteer prepares food packages Flash 90

Ahead of World Food Day, the National Food Bank of Israel has released a comparative research report on food preservation and loss reduction, showing that Israelis are among the most wasteful in the industrialized world.

Commissioned by Leket Yisrael: The National Food Bank, Lexidale Internal Policy Consulting, the study compares Israel to seven countries and jurisdictions in the developed world (Canada, US, UK, Germany, Norway, Singapore and the EU) with a focus on the following areas: dedicated legislation, tailor made regulations, public awareness campaigns, large scale research and subsidies, bids and competitions. According to the findings, the UK and the US ranked highest. On the other hand, Israel is the only country ranked lowest across the board in every category.

The report identified three primary subject areas where activity in these jurisdictions is most concentrated: government action, private action, and innovation. The research indicates that governmental involvement is a critical factor when addressing food waste; governments need to allocate resources. The research also establishes that non-profit organizations and commercial companies have played a pivotal role in the field of food preservation. In addition, mobile apps and cutting-edge solutions in earlier stages of development are promising innovations where an effective impact can be made.

The report’s concluded that Israel would benefit from systematic data collection, a government strategy on food preservation and loss reduction, and innovation in the field of food preservation.

Gidi Kroch, Leket Yisrael CEO, said: “Israel is a leader in so many areas, however, when it comes to food preservation and loss reduction, this Report proves what we at Leket Yisrael already suspected. Sadly, in this arena, Israel is lagging behind all major developed countries. In every category examined, Israel is subpar; lacking legislation and regulations, along with zero public awareness campaigns and no governmental subsidies and bids.” Kroch continued: “At Leket Yisrael, we are working tirelessly to rescue and redistribute food to those in need. Last year alone, we saved over 30 million pounds of food from going to waste. Paradoxically, in Israel, 33% of food produced ends up landfills while 18% of the population is food insecure. On our own, without ample government support and assistance, Leket cannot continue to grow at the necessary pace, to meet the growing demands. First and foremost, what we need is dedicated legislation. Over the past several years, Leket has been advocating for the government to adopt a Food Donation Act, similar to the Bill Emerson Food Donation Act passed in the US in 1996, to protect food donors who donate in good faith. We know that with this Bill, Leket Israel will be able to collect and deliver even greater quantities of fresh food for many more vulnerable Israelis. At the very least, this is what is required as a first step in minimizing the growing gap.”

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