Former US Secretary of Agriculture highlights UAE’s leading role in combating global food waste
Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Monday 22 May 2023: Dan Glickman, the former US Secretary of Agriculture under President Bill Clinton, has highlighted the critical role the UAE is playing in combating global food waste during a high-level discussion hosted by APCO Worldwide in Dubai.
Mr Glickman, who served in the administration from 1995 to 2001 and now chairs APCO Worldwide’s International Advisory Council, told attendees that the UAE has been “taking the lead” in advance of hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) later this year.
Speaking at the event – Fighting Food Waste: Pathways for People, Planet and Prosperity, the first in a series of discussions hosted by the strategic communications firm in the lead-up to COP28 – Mr Glickman said: “In 2021, the UAE and the United States launched the Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate, which aims to make farming practices more environmentally friendly and resilient to climate change.
“We also had a conference in Washington this week with UAE ministers, the US Secretary of Agriculture, former Vice President Al Gore, and hundreds of leading figures from all over the world coming to talk about this initiative, which has grown to about $13 billion and demonstrates the commitment of the UAE and the United States in fighting climate change and producing food more sustainably.
“It really is something we can all work together on, using our own special skills and unique experiences to deal with this problem. Public-private partnerships and cooperation are essential to not only achieving success against food waste, but in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”
Other speakers at the event hosted by APCO Worldwide’s Eddie Taylor included Mohamed Eldabaa, Head of Government Relations for the Gulf and Levant Regions at Procter & Gamble; Sulaiman Beydoun, Head of Public Affairs & Government Relations at Deliveroo UAE; Ceylan Üren, Co-founder at The Waste Lab; and Dr William Guéraiche, Associate Professor at the University of Wollongong Dubai.
Topics discussed included the creation of a circular economy in which food waste is reused rather than being diverted to landfill, and the importance of public-private partnerships in meeting the sustainability challenge.
Mr Glickman added: “food waste and its impact on climate change is dramatic. We throw away roughly about one third of the food that’s produced for human consumption, amounting to about 1.3 billion tons of food a year. As the UAE prepares for COP28, it is vital that you are all coming together as a global community to address the pressing issue of food waste and its impact on climate change, poverty and hunger around the world.
“I encourage you all to leverage this opportunity to advance our collective goal of a sustainable future. With the right initiatives and cooperation, we can ensure a healthy planet for generations to come and plenty of food to feed the hungry around the world.”
Food waste is a significant issue for almost every country in the world, including the United Arab Emirates. Up to one-third of the consumable goods produced or purchased globally end up as waste, with urgent action needed across every step in the value chain from farming and manufacturing to distribution, retail and consumption.
Up to 8% of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced globally if we stop wasting food, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
For nearly 40 years, APCO has served as a trusted advisor and partner for organizations from around the world seeking to understand, anticipate and respond to the most complex policy issues. APCO’s deep and long-standing relationships with decision-makers and advocacy groups across regions help deliver policy results and drive impact.