From the SDGs: Relevant targets

2.1) By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round.

2.b) Correct and prevent trade restrictions and distortions in world agricultural markets, including through the parallel elimination of all forms of agricultural export subsidies and all export measures with equivalent effect, in accordance with the mandate of the Doha Development Round.

From the SDGs: Aviation-relevant indicators

2.4.1) Proportion of agricultural area under productive and sustainable agriculture [specifically relating to possible crop-based sustainable aviation fuel feedstock production]

Did you know?

More than 70,000 tonnes of food and commodities are delivered by air each year to relieve victims of floods, conflict and health crises.

Relevance to aviation

Aviation provides needed connectivity for perishable agricultural products every day. In addition, aviation supports the delivery of vital humanitarian aid to areas devastated by natural disasters and war, through the World Food Programme and other charities. Aviation has a unique ability to move needed items quickly over vast distances.

Examples of action

  • The UN World Food Programme coordinates the UN Humanitarian Air Service to quickly and safely transport vital food supplies to areas struck by war or natural disaster.
  • Brisbane Airport contributes to the OzHarvest project, which collects unwanted food from Australian organisations, by donating leftover food produced by airlines.
  • The Airbus Foundation partners with humanitarian organisations, such as Action Against Hunger and the UN World Food Programme to deliver food aid to areas hit by famine. 
  • Air Transat, working in conjunction with Food for the Poor Canada, operated a humanitarian flight to Haiti in November 2016 to provide food aid for the Haitian community.

How governments can assist

  • Two key impediments to reducing food waste on board aircraft (or redistributing leftover food from both airlines and airports) are legal issues. Currently, most States require waste from international flights to be destroyed for quarantine reasons when in reality there is very little risk from the food on board or its packaging.
  • Allowing recycling of catering supplies could also ensure that any untouched pre-packaged food could be re-distributed (and any waste appropriately recycled). Similarly, by instituting so-called ‘Good Samaritan’ laws , appropriate airline or airport catering leftovers could be donated for use by charities.