H.K.H. Prinsesse Maries tale til The Nordic Food Waste Summit 2023

Offentliggjort den 26. april 2023.

Your Excellencies, Ministers, and Distinguished Guests,

It is an honour for me to be here in Stockholm to open the Nordic Food Waste Summit 2023.

Food waste is an issue that lies close to my heart. I have been engaged in the work to reduce food loss and waste in Denmark since 2015. Being here in Stockholm, and seeing all of you, it really shows that we finally have wind in our sails.

It is a great achievement that this topic is raised at the Nordic level and that the Nordic countries are joining forces to take our global responsibility of reducing our food waste seriously.

I am happy to be part of this new Nordic movement that we are starting here today.

Fighting food loss and waste is important. We need to act now, and I hope that the Nordic Food Waste Summit will be the beginning of increased action and cooperation.

Globally, 931 million tonnes of food are wasted annually. That is an extreme number, not least given the fact of the challenges we face with climate and environmental change and increasing hunger.

My engagement in fighting food waste comes from my childhood. My parents valued our food. Food was treated and valued with the dignity it deserves. Everything was used, and new dishes were invented from leftovers.

That was how my parents were taught, and how they had to live during a very different time than we live in today.

My generation is one of the first generations where the majority has grown up with an abundance of food. We have not valued food the way we should, and it has been taken for granted as an endless resource.

We have a responsibility as leaders, public figures, experts and businesses to really do what we can to take action for future generations.

But we also have a responsibility as parents. I have myself been very keen to include my children to ensure that they learn about food, value food and are aware of how fortunate we are to live in countries where most of us have food on the table. Just as my parents taught me.

The children are our future. We need to listen to their calls for climate action. And reducing food loss and waste is a very concrete step that we can take here and now.

If we are to reach the Sustainable Development Goal of cutting food waste by 50 percent before 2030, we need to be very vocal about the transition needed.

We need to teach our children about food waste in schools, we need to talk about it with our friends and colleagues and we need to ensure that everyone is doing their part.

We need you that have joined us here today. You are the champions and leaders that can be front-runners in the race that we have to do up to 2030.

Fighting food waste is not just about sustainability. It makes business sense, and it is about valuing our nature and the planet that we are borrowing from future generations for the time that we are here.

Reducing food waste is also about global equity. When I have travelled to some of the poorer countries in the world, I have seen how one simple meal can mean the difference between life and death.

That is something that most of us in the Nordic countries will not be able to understand. But we need to do our uttermost to reduce our impacts on the climate and environment and really value the resources that we have in solidarity with those less fortunate.

If we are serious about the Sustainable Development Goals and the Nordic vision of becoming the most sustainable region in the world, we need to transform our food systems to become sustainable and produce healthy food for all.

We need to change our consumption, we need to adjust our production systems, and we need to reconnect with our food and how it is produced.

As the invasion of Ukraine is still ongoing, with the devastating effects that it has had, resilience is becoming an even more important topic for the Nordic countries. To stop food waste and learn how to use all the food that we have available are increasingly important.


(Det talte ord gælder)