Lack of effective cold chain is estimated to directly result in losses of 475 million tonnes or 13% of total food production, which is worth $350 billion and enough to feed approximately 950 million people. Lack of access to cold chains also denies perishable items to reach markets safely and effectively, and food loss is not only the material loss of the commodity, but also the loss of scarce and depleting input resources.
Acting on sustainable cold chain offers a multi-faceted win for people and the planet. Ensuring local and global “field to fork” connectivity can help nutritiously feed 10 billion people sustainably, support the wellbeing of millions of small- scale farmers, and mitigate food loss and wastage. Scaling up action on efficient, climate friendly cold chains contributes to SDGs, Paris Agreement, and the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol simultaneously. The international community recognized the role of cold chains in food systems with the Rome Declaration on the Contribution of the Montreal Protocol to Food Loss Reduction through Sustainable Cold Chain Management.
Ramping-up of action on efficient and integrated cold chains with holistic models and whole systems approaches like the Community Cool Hubs (CCHs), developed by the Center for Sustainable Cooling, can help deliver on the Rome Declaration and ensure nutritious and healthy food for all. CCHs are integrated approaches to cater cold chains, cooling and energy needs to rural communities that are economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable. To learn more about CCHs and the Cool Coalition’s proposal for the UN Food Systems Summit, please follow this link.
In this session, the UNEP-led Cool Coalition, FAO and Power For All presented opportunities for countries to scale up action on sustainable cold chains, as well as ongoing activities that are being carried forward by champion governments and food system stakeholders around the world. You can read the event’s key takeaways here.
• Ligia Noronha, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Head of UNEP, New York Office
• Toby Peters, Professor Cold Economy, University of Birmingham
• Javier Manzanares, Deputy Executive Director, Green Climate Fund
• Vikas Chaube, Joint Secretary, Logistics Division, Department of Commerce Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India
• Kevin J. Fay, Executive Director, Global Food Cold Chain Council
• Ben Valk, Global Head, Food and Agricultural Partnerships, Rabobank
• Honorable Minister Dr Jeanne d’ Arc Mujawamariya, Ministry of Environment, Rwanda