How to Measure and Reduce Food Loss and Waste


Human Wrongs Watch

Learn more about food loss and waste reduction, measurement and policy in times of COVID-19 and beyond.

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(FAO)* — Food loss and waste reduction should be seen as a means toward achieving other objectives, including improving food security and nutrition, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, lowering pressure on water and land resources and can increase productivity and economic growth.

The formulation of effective policies toward food loss and waste reduction requires comprehensive information as to how much and where – both geographically and along the supply chain – various foods are lost or wasted.

FAO’s work on measurement and support to countries to take action to reduce food loss and waste is critical to tracking progress made by countries.

Many communities and vulnerable individuals rely on foodbanks and other food recovery and redistribution charities to ensure they have access to enough food to build…
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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc globally, generating significant challenges that could result in risks to food security and nutrition in many countries. Countries…

On 19 December, 2019, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) designated 29 September as the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste (IDAFLW),…

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Pulses are annual leguminous crops that constitute an affordable source of protein and minerals for a large proportion of rural populations across the globe (ref.). …

Food loss and waste reduction, measurement and policy

Food loss and waste reduction should be seen as a means toward achieving other objectives, including improving food security and nutrition, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, lowering pressure on water and land resources and can increase productivity and economic growth.

The formulation of effective policies toward food loss and waste reduction requires comprehensive information as to how much and where – both geographically and along the supply chain – various foods are lost or wasted. FAO’s work on measurement and support to countries to take action to reduce food loss and waste is critical to tracking progress made by countries.

Food loss is the decrease in the quantity or quality of food resulting from decisions and actions by food suppliers in the chain, excluding retailers, food service providers and consumers (SOFA, 2019).

Food waste refers to the decrease in the quantity or quality of food resulting from decisions and actions by retailers, food service providers and consumers (SOFA, 2019).

FOOD LOSS AND FOOD WASTE DATABASE

The Food Loss and Waste database is the largest online collection of data on both food loss and food waste and their causes reported throughout the literature. The database contains data and information from openly accessible reports and studies measuring food loss and waste across food products, stages of the value chain, and geographical areas.

Food is lost or wasted throughout the supply chain from initial agricultural production all the way to final household consumption.

 

One-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, which amounts to about 1.3 billion tonnes per year.

 

Food that never gets eaten also represents a waste of resources, such as land, water, energy, soil, seeds and other inputs used in its production, increasing green gas emissions in vain.

 

Food is lost or wasted throughout the supply chain from initial agricultural production all the way to final household consumption.

 

One-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, which amounts to about 1.3 billion tonnes per year.

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