ZERO Summit 2021
ZERO Summit 2021 is touted as the “first-ever food-driven sustainability event” organized by Scholars of Sustenance (SOS), the first food rescue foundation in Thailand sponsored by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB).
The virtual summit is being held on September 29th, 2021 from 1:00 pm – 6:30 pm, and its speakers will discuss food waste in the context of Thailand’s environmental and socio-economic problems. The event aims to funnel ticket sales into raising 22,100 meals (5 baht per meal) for vulnerable communities.
Several experts in the food industry from both government and private sectors will weigh in on the topic of sustainable food system change in Thailand. The event consists of two panel discussions and one workshop, as follows:
Panel 1: Systemic Approach on Food Waste Reduction
SOS, the first food rescue foundation in Thailand, and its partners will explain how, together, they are able to systematically prevent surplus food from becoming food waste. Food industry leaders, such as the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI), Lotus’s, and CP Foods, will share their vision and plan for future cooperation.
Panel 2: Food Waste Reduction Engagement
Experienced speakers from the likes of Hilton & DoubleTree, Michelin Guide Thailand, Agoda, and Allianz Ayudhya will explore case studies and discuss how the public can participate in solving the problems of food waste.
Workshop: Shaping the Future Food System
Among various professional guest speakers, Marisa Panyachiva, Partnership and Development Finance Officer of the United Nations in Thailand, will provide opening remarks and share ideas on food systems. Participants can then engage in a discussion workshop, brainstorming and designing waste management policy in Thailand.
Zero Food Waste & Zero Hunger
According to the Pollution Control Department, 64% of municipal waste in Thailand is food waste—the equivalent of 17.5 million tonnes per year. Worse still, part of this waste is what is referred to as invisible food or food that was produced but never reaches the consumer. This invisible food waste can be traced back to companies that are not properly addressing their food waste.
Despite the colossal amount of food waste, more than 6.5 million people in Thailand are undernourished and over 9.9% of the total population are living below the poverty line. Redirecting invisible food to those most in need could help to mitigate both problems.
Scholars of Sustenance
Established in 2016, the Scholars of Sustenance Foundation (SOS) is the first food rescue foundation in Thailand. Its mission is to enhance the food system in the country to minimize needless loss of surplus food and improve food equity by redistributing high-quality surplus food from food-related businesses. These include hotels, grocers, restaurants, and other suppliers to vulnerable communities in Bangkok, Phuket, Hua Hin, and other places in the country.
According to its website, Scholars of Sustenance Thailand programs have rescued approximately two million kilograms of surplus food, served 8.7 million meals to 426 communities, and reduced 3.9 million kilograms of carbon dioxide that would have been produced if the food were wasted in landfills.