Let’s increase collaboration on the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste
The International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste is held for the second time on September 29, 2021. In the aftermath of COVID-19, the global focus is on restoring and building back better and resilient-ready, food systems. This day will make it top-of-mind for both the public and the private sectors to prioritise actions and move ahead with innovations to reduce food loss and waste.
In 2019, the UN General Assembly designated September 29 to be the International Day of Awareness of food loss and waste. The purpose is to highlight the crucial task to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses by 2030.
Much more than food loss and waste
When food is lost or wasted, it’s not only the end product that is wasted, but also all the resources that went into producing the food. This is everything from labour and land, to energy, water and capital used in production.
Globally, one-third of all food is lost or wasted. This equals 1.6 billion tons of food and worth of approximately $1.2 trillion according to Boston Consulting Group’s report. Therefore, reducing food loss and waste would not only be a necessary step towards sustainable development, but also a good business model. Right now, 14% of food produced is already lost between harvest and retail. If solutions are found to ensure the quality, longevity and distribution of food, companies would make more profit, climate change would be slowed down and more people fed.
Data is key
There is currently insufficient data on global food loss and waste and the measurement approaches between countries are very diverse. It will only be possible to track progress on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 12.3, which aims at halving per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reducing food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses, with reliable and consistent data. In the Food Waste Index Report 2021, the most comprehensive food waste data collection, analysis and modelling to date, generating a new estimate of global food waste is presented. Hear Martina Otto from UNEP explain about the new publication when she participated in our Global Food Talk on food loss and waste on September 27.
Let us find the keys to prevent food loss and waste
Reducing food loss and waste is a significant lever for optimising our food systems while increasing food safety and quality and nutritional composition. By reducing food loss and waste we would also reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as pressure on land and water resources. If we are to reduce the amount of food being lost or wasted, everybody from food manufacturers to food supply chain holders and food industries, retailers and consumers need to work together and share their knowledge. Innovations along the food chain to create new products, solutions and technologies are crucial for reducing global food loss and waste.
Be inspired by Danish solutions and technologies that can support the reduction of food loss and waste throughout the value chain in the case collection.