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Business leaders and the IDB issue call to reduce food waste in Latin America and the Caribbean

Nearly 348,000 tons of edible products are lost and spoiled every day in the region

LIMA, Peru - Business leaders have joined forces with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to issue a call to reduce food losses and waste in Latin America and the Caribbean, a region where 348,000 tons of food (223 kilos per person per year) are spoiled or squandered every day while nearly 42 million people go hungry.

Losses and waste occur in every stage of the food chain: 28% is lost during the production process; 21% during handling and storage; 6% during processing; and 17% during distribution and marketing; while end consumers, mostly in their homes, waste about 28% of all food products.

The call was led by world beverage leader Coca-Cola, the U.S. food processor and distributor Cargill, Colombia’s dairy company Alquería, and the IDB. Also joining the call was chef Arlette Eulert, founder of Lima’s Matria restaurant.

IDB President Luis Alberto Moreno said the call to reduce food losses and waste was being made in the context of the Bank’s support to the Sustainable Development Goals. Goal 12.3 seeks to cut the per capita food waste and reduce production and supply chain losses by half by 2030.

“In order to meet these goals, the region needs innovation, better public policies and a clearer understanding of the causes of the problem,” Moreno said.

The business leaders’ call seeks to promote partnerships and agreements to hammer out a long-term agenda around four main thematic lines: financing innovative projects; promoting public policies that trigger adequate incentives; generating knowledge and data to better gauge the problem; and promoting new habit patterns in all sectors, from producers to suppliers to end consumers.

Olga Reyes, Public Affairs and Communications and Sustainability Vice President, Latin America at The Coca-Cola Company, said: “We congratulate the IDB for leading this initiative, which is so crucial for our region. We are proud to be part of this public-private effort to reduce food wastage in Latin America. We all win with this commitment – communities, consumers, producers and, most of all, the environment. This will be part of the legacy we leave to future generations.”

Alquería President Carlos Enrique Cavelier, who also heads Bogota’s Food Bank, said, “Our companies’ goal is not to produce food but to nourish people. This is the reason why now, more than ever, not destroying food and improving nutrition for those who most need us is an obligation if what we want is to provide peace and prosperity for present and future generations.”

For his part, Cargill CFO Marcel Smits said: “We at Cargill are convinced that wasting food is a problem that requires innovative solutions along global supply chains that arise from partnerships among associates sharing common goals, such as the one that brings us here, together with the IDB and our other allies present.”


The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.


The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest total beverage company, offering more than 500 brands people in more than 200 countries. At Coca-Cola, we have a serious commitment to make positive contributions to our world. This starts with reducing the sugar in our products and bringing new and different beverages to people everywhere. It also means working continuously to reduce our ecological footprint, create job opportunities for our employees and create economic opportunities in all the places where we operate. In fact, together with our bottling partners, we employ more than 700,000 people around the world.


Cargill’s 150,000 employees work tirelessly in 70 countries to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Every day, we connect farmers with markets, clients with ingredients, and people and animals with the food they need to thrive. We combine 153 years of experience with new technologies and insights to serve as a trusted partner for food, agriculture, financial and industrial customers in more than 125 countries. Side-by-side, we are building a stronger, sustainable future for agriculture.


Alquería is a company that was born 59 years ago to transform the lives of people through employment and education to farmers, collaborators and children. During these years, Alquería has surprised consumers with the launch of the waxed carton that revolutionized the way milk is packaged in Colombia and the creation of long-life-milk technology. It currently has a complete portfolio of innovative food products that accompany the entire life cycle of Colombians, from dairy products certified with the Quality Checkd quality label to vegetable drinks, compotes and juices. This is the result of doing things well and from the heart during its almost six decades in the market.

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