Press Release

#SinDesperdicioCentralAmerica: Looking for Innovative Solutions for Food Waste

FEMSA

  • The partners of the #SinDesperdicio platform have launched a contest to identify and support innovative solutions in Central America and the Dominican Republic linked to food losses and waste in the region.
  • The call will be open for applications until September 27, 2020.
  • The three winning solutions will each receive $10,000 dollars (USD) as seed capital and a pre-acceleration program.

Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. September 21, 2020.– The partners of the #SinDesperdicio platform have launched the #SinDesperdicioCentralAmerica contest, which will award $10,000 dollars (USD) to three innovative, viable and impactful solutions that reduce food loss and waste in Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala or the Dominican Republic. The call will be open for applications until September 27, 2020.

According to FAO data, in Latin America and the Caribbean it is estimated that food losses reach 12% of total production, which is equivalent to about 220 million tons per year. Among the food groups that present the highest losses and waste are fruits and vegetables with 55% and roots and tubers with 40%. This phenomenon occurs in a context where 42 million people live in conditions of severe food insecurity.

This contest is organized by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in coordination with all the partners of #SinDesperdicio, a platform committed to working so that in Latin America and the Caribbean there is no food loss or waste: FEMSA Foundation, IBM, Nestlé, The Coca-Cola Company, Grupo Bimbo, OXXO, The Dow Chemical Company, FAO, the Consumer Goods Forum, The Global FoodBanking Network and the World Resources Institute.

This contest is also the result of the collaboration with a number of key local partners such as The Ministry of Science, Technology and Telecommunications of Costa Rica (MICITT), the FAO Offices for Latin America and the Caribbean and its Subregional Office for Mesoamerica, the Ministries of Agriculture and Innovation Programs of the countries, the Costa Rica USA Foundation for Cooperation (CRUSA), the University Agency for Entrepreneurship Management of the University of Costa Rica (AUGE), the Costa Rican Network for the Reduction of Food Loss and Wast,e coordinated by the Technological Institute of Costa Rica, the ALIARSE Foundation, XYZ Imagine, and Socialab Guatemala.

“Food loss and waste have large-scale impacts on the economic, nutritional and environmental aspects. By reducing or avoiding them, we promote the efficient use of resources such as water, energy, land and labor in their production. Through #SinDesperdicio we seek to promote innovation in Latin America to generate substantive solutions to the challenges we face as a society”, said Carlos Hurtado, Sustainable Development Manager of FEMSA Foundation, which is a partner of the platform and that contributes to the generation of social value for FEMSA and its Business Units, such as Coca-Cola FEMSA in Central America.

Technological and social innovation can be part of the solution to this enormous challenge the region is currently facing. The #SinDesperdicioCentroamérica contest was launched with the purpose of identifying innovative solutions – wether they be in the prototype stage or have already been proven in the market – to help reduce food loss and waste in the food production and supply chain in Central America and the Dominican Republic, addressing the impacts and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants must be from Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and the Dominican Republic.

The solutions can be technological, financial or of processes. Between 10 and 15 finalists will be selected, who will participate in a virtual bootcamp and will be considered to be part of the Dynamic Entrepreneurship Promotion Program developed by the University Agency for Entrepreneurship Management of the University of Costa Rica (AUGE-UCR). There will be three winners, who will receive a prize worth $10,000 dollars each and will participate in a pre-acceleration program. The winning projects could also be considered for a pilot project financed by IDB Lab.

Applications are made through the website sindesperdicio.net/concursos/centroamerica, where the bases and the complete description of the contest can be found. #SinDesperdicioCentralAmerica is the third innovation contest promoted within this platform, after its implementation in Argentina in 2019 and in Mexico in 2020.

About #SinDesperdicio

#SinDesperdicio is an initiative promoted by IDB in alliance with a series of partners committed to working so that in Latin America and the Caribbean there is no food loss or waste (PDA). The platform promotes four lines of action: i) innovation; ii) public policies; iii) knowledge; and iv) behavior. The partners that make up #SinDesperdicio are: IDB, Bimbo, Nestlé, FEMSA Foundation, OXXO, The Dow Chemical Company, The Coca-Cola Company, IBM, The Global FoodBanking Network, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), The Consumer Goods Forum and the World Resources Institute.

About FEMSA

FEMSA is a leading company that creates economic and social value through companies and institutions and seeks to be the best employer and neighbor of the communities where it has a presence. It participates in retail trade through FEMSA Comercio, which includes the Proximity Division and of which OXXO, a chain of small format stores, is a part of. It also has a Health Division that includes pharmacies and related activities as well as a Fuel Division that operates the service stations chain, OXXO Gas. In the beverage industry it operates Coca-Cola FEMSA, public bottler of Coca-Cola products; in the beer sector, it is a shareholder of HEINEKEN, a company present in more than 70 countries. Additionally, through FEMSA’s Strategic Businesses Business Unit, it offers logistics services, point-of-sale refrigeration solutions and plastics solutions to FEMSA companies and external clients. Through its Business Units, it employs approximately 300 thousand employees in 13 countries. FEMSA is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability MILA Pacific Alliance Index, the FTSE4Good Emerging Index and the Mexican Stock Exchange Sustainable IPC, among other indices that evaluate its performance in sustainability.

About The Inter-American Development Bank’s (IBD)

Through financial and technical support for countries working to reduce poverty and inequality, the Bank helps improve health and education, and advance infrastructure. Its aim is to achieve development in a sustainable, climate-friendly way. With a history dating back to 1959, today it is the leading source of development financing for Latin America and the Caribbean. The Bank provides loans, grants, and technical assistance; and conducts extensive research.

About FEMSA Foundation

In FEMSA Foundation our goal is to create positive impacts on people and communities through social investment projects for sustainability. We make a better future for all by working in three strategic areas: the promotion of efficient resource management for sustainable development, the promotion of the integral development of early childhood and the dissemination of Latin American art and culture. For more information, visit us at www.fundacionfemsa.org or follow us on Facebook (/ FundacionFEMSA) and Twitter (@FundacionFEMSA).

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Hanako Taniguchi
Press Relations at FEMSA
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Oscar F. Martínez
Press Relations at FEMSA
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