Food Around the Commonwealth

In February we took a look at Waste & Recycling Around the Commonwealth but for March the topic we are analysing is food. Food and ecology are deeply linked and can be looked at from a myriad of angles. For instance, food waste, the meat and dairy industry, overfishing of our oceans and the destruction of our rainforests are just some ways that food and ecology are connected. The following article looks at some of these concerns, but also highlights other successful pieces of news that have recently been published and involve food around the commonwealth.

New Zealand

Cameras on fishing boats to tackle over fishing – New Zealand is toying with the idea of implementing a scheme where all commercial fishing boats will be required to have cameras installed on them. The main reason for this is to ensure that boats are reporting data accurately. It is estimated that when boats have cameras on them, reporting of data increased by 700% meaning everyone will be able to get a better picture of what is being caught and whether this is overfishing or not.


“Feed people, not landfill” – Padmanaban Gopalan of India was recently awarded the Commonwealth Youth Person of the Year 2019 award for the Asia region for his work on eradicating food waste and hunger. His NGO, No Food Waste, serves an average of 900 people per day by recovering surplus food from events and donating it to needy and hungry people.


Malaysia may ban oil palm expansion – Palm oil is a hot topic right now and is a main contributor to deforestation around the world, even more so when it is not done in a sustainable way. One country that has grappled with palm oil is Malaysia. However, due to the negative effects it has, this has given the Commonwealth country a bad name leading to the government seriously considering limiting future oil palm production which could be a huge win for the environment! (Interested in the effects of oil palm? We recently published an article on Oil Palm and its Impacts on the Environment)


Bamboo food packaging – Packaging of foods is one area that causes huge issues around the world from waste and non-sustainable production methods but this could be about to change in Rwanda. The environment ministry, along with the water and forest authority, are set to explore plans to use bamboo as a sustainable packaging source.

South Africa

Top chefs sustainable cook-off – Along with the WWF, the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa, challenged some of Cape Town’s top hotel chefs to a cook-off to encourage being more sustainable. This comes off of the back of the fact that over 90% global fisheries are completely fished or over-exploited.


Food dehydration to tackle food waste – Ugandan Lawrence Okettayot has used his knowledge of engineering to create a food dehydrator which he believes will help tackle food waste that could then be used to feed the 300 million people in Africa that the UN predicts wasted food could feed.

Sri Lanka

Improving productivity and climate resilience in agriculture – The World Bank has granted Sri Lanka with $125 million to help increase the productivity of it’s agriculture industry while also ensuring it becomes more climate resilient as we the world experiences the worsening effects of global warming and climate change. It will ensure all farmers get access to training and research to help achieve this.


A mobile app to curb food waste – Nigerian tech entrepreneur Oscar Ekponimo has developed a mobile app to connect individuals with supermarkets who are about to throw out food they can no longer sell. Around the world, supermarkets are some of the biggest culprits of producing food waste, so this initiative has great potential. It has already been picked up by 35 NGOs.

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