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Ministry of Climate Change and Environment Collaborates with Winnow to Accelerate Fight Against Food Waste

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) today organized a special event in cooperation with the food tech company Winnow to celebrate the launch of Winnow’s new AI-enabled product Vision. The tool allows kitchens to automatically track food waste through leveraging artificial intelligence to help chefs easily identify what items are routinely wasted and adjust their purchasing lists and menus to cut down on costs and concurrently save the resources that are used in food production, such as water, energy, and land.

Headlined by His Excellency Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and His Excellency Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, the event brought together leading government and private sector entities to sign the UAE Food Waste Pledge.

MOCCAE in cooperation with Winnow launched the pledge initiative in mid-2018 to support the national target to halve food waste by 2030 and meet the food waste reduction target outlined by the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Through the initiative, UAE-based hospitality companies undertook the challenge of reducing food waste and pledged to save one million meals in 2018, two million meals in 2019, and three million meals in 2020.

The signatories to the pledge at the event include Dubai Municipality, Etihad Airways, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, JA Resorts and Hotels, and Mayar Facilities Management Company, a subsidiary of Al Barakah Holding that offers integrated facilities management services to commercial, corporate, and residential clients across the UAE.

In his remarks, His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi said: “Today, I am pleased to reaffirm the UAE’s commitment to meeting the global target to cut food losses and waste by 50 percent by 2030 in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production. To ensure that we can achieve the transformative change, I invite the entire hospitality sector in the UAE to join our pledge and commit to reducing food waste in its operations now.”

He added: “The fast pace of technological advancement brings us a wealth of innovations that we can leverage to drive our sustainability agenda forward. Employing artificial intelligence as a powerful tool to manage and eliminate food waste adds significant momentum to our efforts and makes our task that much easier and more seamless. Efficient collaboration between hospitality and tech companies will inform food waste management decisions and deliver substantial benefits.”

For his part, His Excellency Al Olama said: “The UAE strives to leverage AI technologies to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and improve its performance in the global competitiveness indexes. Doing so requires synergies between the public and private sector across the board.”

He added: “Curbing food waste is an area where AI can be a useful tool and bring in tremendous benefits to sustain the sector for current and future generations.”

Marc Zornes, co-founder and CEO of Winnow, said: “The hospitality sector in the UAE is leading the charge in the global fight against food waste. We are incredibly proud of the fantastic results chefs partnering with Winnow have achieved. These pioneers have proved that it is possible to do the right thing for both their business bottom lines and the planet. However, we are really just getting started, and we look forward to scaling our impact with our partners as we work to achieve an ambitious target.”

His Excellency Dr Al Zeyoudi, His Excellency Al Olama, and Marc Zornes headlined a panel discussion that examined the role of technology and artificial intelligence in reducing food waste and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. They concurred that food waste is a global concern that must be addressed using trailblazing innovations and a genuine shift in the public mindset towards adopting sustainable, environment-focused consumption habits that will significantly reduce food waste.

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