Turkey is included in the Guinness Book of World Records for the highest annual per capita consumption of bread with 199 kilos per person. with nearly 1.8 billion loaves going to waste every year. Before 2013 Turkey wasted 5.9 percent of all bread production, amounting to 6 million loaves of bread every day with total nearly 1.8 billion loaves every year.
With the aim of preventing bread waste and the loss it creates in economy and in order to create awareness and sensibility to generalize the use of whole wheat bread the "Campaign for Preventing Bread Waste" was launched by the Turkish Grain Board (TMO) and started on January 17th, 2013.
With the broad support of the government and civil society, the Turkish Grain Board (TMO) organized a campaign that blanketed 12 major cities. It targeted households and bakeries as well as cafeterias, restaurants and hotels.
The campaign`s goals included educating children on how to prevent bread from being wasted and informing the public on how to properly consume bread. This included tips on preserving loaves from going stale, discouraging the purchase of more loaves than needed, and overproduction by bakeries. It was explained that using bread in animal feeding was wasting it too. The campaign also focused on restaurants and other places where bread consumption is high, as well as its waste. It also encouraged the consumption of whole grain bread instead of traditional white bread as more resistant to mold.
The campaign also coordinated efforts for the recycling of stale bread, such as by promoting dishes made with stale bread. The Ankara Metropolitan Municipality spearheaded efforts with a municipal subsidiary that produces bread by launching the production of chips made entirely of processed bread as a healthy alternative to fried potato chips.
In addition to the hallmarks of traditional information campaigns such as conferences and exhibitions, orchestrated marches and aired public service announcements on television, radio, billboards and online the campaign for preventing bread waste also used creative strategies to connect with ordinary people on this important issue. To complement discussions about food and bread waste in the school curriculum and in mosques, the Grain Board organized art and poetry competitions engaging as many as 25 million children. It printed the campaign logo on national lottery tickets and even published a recipe book that celebrates stale bread as one of the most useful ingredients in the pantry.
According to a research conducted by TMO in the end of 2013 there was a positive change in society’s bread consumption habits since the campaign was launched., The daily bread consumption has decreased to 86 million loaves against 95 million before the campaign and the annual bread consumption decreased to 31 billion loaves in 2013 against 35 billion in 2012. Annual bread consumption per capita decreased to 104 kg against 116 kg in 2012, which is equivalent of total bread consumption 26 billion TL in 2012 and 23,5 billion TL -– in 2013. There has been a 10% decrease in every aspect. The campaign also helped to spread awareness among the society about bread waste and different diet methods. The daily bread waste has been decreased from 5 million 950 thousand loaves in 2012 to 4 million 900 thousand loaves (18%) in 2013. Therefore, only one year 384 million bread saved from being wasted (1 million 50 thousand loaves saved per day). Bread waste has been reduced 40% in households, cafeterias in schools and workplaces, and 1% in businesses such as hotels, restaurants and bakeries and around 18% in general.
The Turkish Grain Board expects levels of bread waste to drop even further over time as new behavioral habit become the cultural norm. Of all the target groups, households reacted especially well to the campaign, reducing bread waste by an average of 40 percent.
Among many possible solutions; extended shelf life of bread by natural ingredients and food safety measures, increase in bake-off production, shift from artisanal to packaged bread and raising awareness and information to the consumers will be most importance in prevention of bread waste.
Reducing unnecessary waste and excess purchases saved consumers an estimated campaign saved 2,8 billion Turkish liras (US$ 1.2 billion) for the Turkish economy in 2013.
With one-third of global food production currently wasted or lost, the international community is homing in on Turkey’s success. The Grain Board has conducted international activities and shared its campaign model as a best practice. Turkey`s campaign was also referred as a model practice in waste reduction activities in March 2014 issue of monthly bulletin published and sent to member institutions all over the world by FAO – Save Food – Global Initiation of Food Loss and Waste Reduction.
Budget: Approximately 590 thousand TL (around 165,000 USD)
Partners: The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, the central and provincial organizations of the Turkish Grain Board (TMO); governorates, municipalities, other establishments and foundations, non-governmental organizations, private sector and media.
Turkey, General Directorate of Turkish Grain Board Ankara
Turkish Grain Board İzmir Branch Yeniliman Alsancak
Contact person: Expert Gökhan ŞEKER, Turkish Grain Board İzmir Branch
Telephone: 0542 677 94 69