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Going off on the high seas: Shipping urged to cut food waste | Singapore News

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‘Logistical failures’ that waste food during transportation can be solved using IT, Singapore port operator says.

One of the largest container port operators is calling on the shipping industry to tackle a growing yet often overlooked major environmental problem: spoiled food from hauling produce around the world.

The food industry accounts for almost a quarter of global carbon emissions. Yet 30% of production is wasted because it doesn’t arrive in an edible form — caused by “logistical failures” that can be addressed using information technology, said Tan Chong Meng, the chief executive officer of PSA International Group in Singapore.

Reducing that wastage through “digitalization” to move food more efficiently is “a huge opportunity” for the freight industry, which emits about 800 million tons of carbon dioxide, Tan told the Singapore International Energy Week conference.

The shipping companies that move 90% of the world’s goods including food have pledged to decarbonize in the next 30 years by curbing fossil-fuel emissions. That commitment focuses on the pollution caused by fuel, but doesn’t include the indirect emissions from food waste. About 1.3 billion tons of global food production is lost before reaching consumers’ plates every year, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Supply disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic have put the spotlight on food security, prompting calls for reduced wastage to boost self-sufficiency. In August, China’s President Xi Jinping introduced a “Clean Plates Campaign” to tackle the “shocking and distressing” problem of food waste.

In Singapore, which relies on imports for more than 90% of its food and increased wastage by 20% over the past decade, President Halimah Yacob urged citizens to help overcome the problem.

Some 10% of developed nations’ greenhouse gas emissions are created by producing food that’s never eaten, according to the UN Environment Programme. About 14% of the world’s food is lost after harvesting and before reaching the retail level, and good infrastructure and efficient trade logistics are key to preventing food losses, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.



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Trapped China miners ask for rice porridge, sausages | China News

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Rescuers drilled three more channels on Tuesday as they race against time to extract the 22 workers.

Workers trapped in a Chinese gold mine for more than nine days have received more medical and food supplies, including bandages, blankets and rice porridge, but one of the group is in a critical condition with a severe head injury, state media said.

A total of 22 workers were left trapped in the Hushan mine, in Shandong province, after an explosion on January 10.

A week later, it emerged that at least 12 of them were still alive as a note retrieved from the mine said: “We hope the rescue won’t stop.”

A drilled channel on Sunday located 11 of the miners, who were working more than 600 metres (1,968 feet) underground and rescuers were subsequently able to speak to them via a wired telephone.

But the progress of the rescue has been slow, according to Chen Fei, a top city official.

Rescuers drilled three more channels on Tuesday in an effort to extract the trapped miners [Stringer/AFP]

“The surrounding rock near the ore body is mostly granite … that is very hard, resulting in the slow progress of the rescue,” Chen told reporters.

“There is a lot of water in the shaft that may pose a danger to the trapped workers.”

Chen said the current food supply was only enough for two days.

‘Please speed up the rescue’

Rescuers drilled three more channels on Tuesday, according to a rescue map published on the Yantai government’s official Weibo account, a Chinese version of Twitter.

More than 300 people are involved in the rescue effort and excavators and machinery are on site but the teams have warned it will be extremely difficult to bring out the miners from the tunnel’s entrance.

The official Xinhua news agency said the miners had requested on Monday evening sausage and pickles as well as porridge but medical experts decided they should not eat hard food having only just regained their strength.

Fortified by the food and medical supplies – the fourth consignment to reach the group – two workers who had previously been very weak were able to walk again on Tuesday, Xinhua reported, citing a member of the rescue team.

However, the state-run newspaper People’s Daily said one worker was in a coma and in a critical condition, after sustaining a head injury in the blast, while two were “mildly unwell” and eight in good health.

One more worker has been located in another section of the mine, while the whereabouts of the other 10 remain unknown.

News that some of the miners are still alive has boosted Chinese netizens’ hopes for a miraculous escape, with thousands leaving prayer messages on Weibo and calling on the authorities to “please speed up the rescue”.

China’s National Mine Safety Administration has ordered a comprehensive inspection of the country’s non-coal mines, which will continue until the end of March, the People’s Daily reported.

There are 32,000 non-coal mines in China, most of which are small, use outdated technology and equipment and have poor safety management, it said, citing an administration official.



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