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Maersk Container Industry Teams up With UN to Combat Global Food Waste

TINGLEV, Denmark, June 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Maersk Container Industry has joined the United Nations’ SAVE FOOD Initiative to help make international food logistics more efficient.

“Food should not be wasted, but too often it is, and we believe our technologies can help improve the food logistics chain,” says Peter K. Nymand, CEO of Maersk Container Industry, MCI.

Robert van Otterdijk, team leader in SAVE FOOD, says: “Using appropriate refrigeration technology to improve storage and transport conditions for harvested food can have a significant impact on reducing food losses and waste.”

The UN food organization FAO, under which SAVE FOOD is organised, estimates that globally up to 50 % of fruits and vegetables are lost between farm and fork. Transport and distribution may account for between 5% and 20% of the loss depending on the specific region of the world.

Technologies like Star Cool CA and AV+ are used to control a refrigeration container’s temperature, humidity, air flow and air composition. This enables longer transports and better care for fruits and vegetables.

As part of SAVE FOOD, MCI and other companies in the food industry will share expertise. SAVE FOOD sees a benefit from sharing knowledge throughout the food logistics chain where actions in one link invariably affect the next.

“Food is lost or wasted in all links of the food value chain, including transport and distribution. One way to improve is to share knowledge across all links in the food value chain,” says Robert van Otterdijk of UN SAVE FOOD.

Facts:
On the way from farm to fork in Europe or North America up to 50% of all fruit and produce is lost. Distribution and transportation in this case account for about 5% of this loss.
(Source: FAO report “Global Food Losses and Food Waste”)

FAO:
“Food losses in industrialized countries are as high as in developing countries, but in developing countries more than 40% of the food losses occur at postharvest and processing levels, while in industrialized countries, more than 40% of the food losses occur at retail and consumer levels.”

(Source: FAO report “Global Food Losses and Food Waste”, page III.6)

Research link: FAO report on Global Food Losses and Food Waste

Tips for farmers: Look up your crop!
This is a link to the UC Davis Postharvest Technology Center home page.

MCI initiatives so far:
April 2013: MCI hosts refrigeration expert conference on optimal handling of fruit and vegetables. Lead speakers were postharvest experts Marita Cantwell and Beth Mitcham from University of California, Davis, USA. Key advice in almost all cases was to take special care at time of harvest and afterward ensure accurate temperature control.

November 2012: Chile’s fruit exporters’ association ASOEX and MCI sign a memorandum of understanding to exchange knowledge and optimise the use of technologies like Star Cool Controlled Atmosphere (CA) and Automated Ventilation (AV+), which f.ex. can extend shipments of avocados, thus reducing peak season harvest pressure. For tropical areas, CA enables banana shipments for 45 days vs. about 25 days before.

Information for media and journalists:
Please see www.mcicontainers.com to find photo and video clip library and MCI’s company movie in Chinese, English or Danish versions.

About MCI:
Maersk Container Industry (MCI) is the world’s only major producer of refrigeration machines and refrigeration containers (“reefers”). MCI manufactures for a variety of shipping lines and leasing companies. MCI’s R&D, sales and central administration are located in Denmark.

With a new USD170 million reefer factory in Chile coming on line, MCI will in early 2014 have about 7,000 employees in China, Chile and Denmark. According to customers’ independent tests, MCI’s Star Cool reefers are currently the world’s most energy efficient. For more information, please visit www.mcicontainers.com.

Press contact on UN/MCI SAVE FOOD:
MCI spokesman, Casper Jacobsen, cja@maerskbox.com, direct phone +4573643410, mobile phone +4551284739.