Opening of the exhibition of photographs “Grown to be thrown away” in Izmir Art

Opening of the exhibition of photographs “Grown to be thrown away” in Izmir Art

Austrian artist Klaus Pichler’s ‘Grown to Trash’ photography exhibition, drawing attention to food waste, opened in İzmir Sanat. President Tunç Soyer, who attended the opening, said that a third of the food that can feed millions of people fighting hunger is wasted and said: “The work we are doing to increase the good -being in our city and making sure it’s shared fairly is about solving that problem.”

The photography exhibition entitled “Grown to be thrown away”, organized by the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality and jointly organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the TR Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, was inaugurated in Izmir Art. Metropolitan Mayor of Izmir Tunç Soyer, Sub-Regional Coordinator for Central Asia of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN) and Representative of Turkey Viorel Gutu, Deputy Secretary General of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Ertuğrul Tugay, representatives of TR Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Izmir Metropolitan Municipality bureaucrats, FAO representatives and art lovers were present.

Soyer: “A third of the food produced is wasted”

Stating that according to the report published by the FAO in 2011, more than 820 million people in the world suffer from hunger, President Tunç Soyer said: “This number is increasing day by day. Moreover, a much more striking fact is revealed in the same report. A third of the food produced is wasted because of our choices and during the distribution of food. Can you imagine? A third of the food that could reach and feed millions of people struggling with poverty and hunger is wasted. And this sad situation is unfolding before our eyes because of our second choice. There is a saying in Anatolia for this: Let the arts not diminish, let them overflow. This saying tells us how precious each grain of wheat produces, each drop of milk. At the same time, instead of a model of production that grows wildly, it describes a life that multiplies with abundance and where prosperity is shared equitably. The work we do to increase well-being in our city and ensure its equitable distribution aims to address this issue,” he said.

“Either we will become victims of our selfishness and greed, or…”

President Soyer stressed the need to be united to prevent waste and said: “We determine the future of our world. Either we will lose ourselves on a poor planet driven to disaster as the victim of our selfishness and greed, or we will exist together with the spirit of solidarity without wasting a bite. That’s why we take action knowing that every seed we plant today is a legacy that will be passed on to our children. We are strengthening Izmir’s circular economy by simultaneously tackling drought and poverty with Izmir Agriculture. We support our small producer and deliver affordable and safe food to millions of our citizens in the city. With our vision of another possible agriculture, we reveal the methods of establishing a strong agricultural economy in Turkey.

Gutu: “This exhibition aims to attract people’s attention”

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Subregional Coordinator for Central Asia and representative of Turkey, Viorel Gutu, said: “Food waste is an issue that should concern and affect all of humanity. It entails heavy burdens in terms of the environment, the economy and society. Food produced and not consumed; means that resources such as land, water and energy are also wasted. All actors and stakeholders must be involved in the fight. This exhibition aims to draw public attention to food waste.

Visit after the exhibition

After the opening of the exhibition, the FAO Subregional Coordinator for Central Asia and representative of Turkey, Dr Viorel Gutu, visited the Mayor of the Metropolitan Municipality of Izmir, Tunç Soyer, in his office. FAO Deputy Representative in Turkey Dr. Ayşegül Selışık, National Coordinator of Food Loss and Waste Reduction Project in Central Asia, Azerbaijan and Turkey Nuray Akan Yaltıraklı, Food Loss and Waste Value Chain Specialist and partnerships Aslıhan Denge and national communications specialist Özlem Türktan Yener were present.

“You can consider İzmir as a laboratory city”

Stating that agriculture is directly linked to food security and that it is linked to health, President Soyer said: “All these elements are linked to each other. The objective of the agricultural policies carried out by the Metropolitan Municipality of Izmir is to fight against the climate crisis, to protect water and to increase the stock market for farmers. We prepare our projects on this scale. That’s why the producer from Izmir is happy. We are open to the projects you propose. You can consider Izmir as a laboratory city,” he said.

Solutions must be found together

Dr. Viorel Gutu drew attention to water consumption and said: “We use 10% of the water at home and the rest in agriculture. The most important point we focus on is the waste solution. We will find solutions for this together. Farmers also need to be convinced on all these issues,” he said.

Tracey L. Sweeney