UAE uses AI to accelerate fight against food waste

Photo: WAM

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, MOCCAE, organised a special event on Monday to highlight the role of Artificial Intelligence, AI, in tackling food waste. The event witnessed the launch of new AI-enabled product 'Vision' that allows kitchens to automatically track food wastage by leveraging AI.

A food tech company Winnow launched the product that aims to help chefs easily identify what items are routinely wasted and adjust their purchasing lists and menus to cut down on costs.

Headed by Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment; and Omar bin Sultan 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.

The ministry in cooperation with Winnow, launched the pledge initiative in mid-2018. The UAE-based hospitality companies undertook the challenge of reducing food wastage and pledged to save one million meals in 2018, two million meals in 2019, and three million meals in 2020.

Commenting on the gesture, 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, SDG, 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 wastage now."

Al Olama said, "The UAE strives to leverage AI technologies to meet the UN’s SDGs and improve its performance in the global competitiveness indexes. Doing so requires synergies between the public and private sectors across the board."

For his part, Marc Zornes, Co-Founder and CEO of Winnow, stated, "The hospitality sector in the UAE is leading the charge in the global fight against food waste. 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 just getting started, and we look forward to scaling our impact with our partners as we work to achieve an ambitious target."

Dr. Al Zeyoudi, Al Olama, and Marc Zornes led a panel discussion that examined the role of technology and Artificial Intelligence in reducing food wastage and achieving the SDGs.

The signatories to the pledge at the event included 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.

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