“Take action, start something. Stop food loss and waste. For the people. For the planet.”
On September 29, 2022, the International Day of Food Loss and Waste (IDAFLW) will be observed for the third time. The IDAFLW will issue a clear call to action for public and private entities from across the food system, as well as consumers, to collaborate to reduce food loss and waste (FLW) and support food security and nutrition.
Stop Wasting Food! For both people and the environment!
In many countries, the food supply chain is on track to surpass farming and land use as the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). Food processing and packaging, as well as transportation and food waste, are pushing the food supply chain to the top of the list of global GHG emitters.
Globally, approximately 14% of food produced is lost between harvest and retail, with an estimated 17% of total global food production wasted (11 percent in households, 5 percent in the food service, and 2 percent in retail).
The International Day of Food Loss and Waste is an opportunity to mobilize both the public (national or local governments) and private sector (businesses and individuals) to prioritize actions and move forward with innovation to reduce food loss and waste to restore and rebuild better and more resilient food systems.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, specifically SDG 12, Target 12.3, calls for halving global food waste per capita at the retail and consumer levels, as well as reducing food losses along the production and supply chains.
Why is it critical to reduce food waste and loss?
Food waste and loss jeopardize the sustainability of our food systems. When food is lost or wasted, all of the resources used to produce it, including water, land, energy, labor, and capital, are wasted. Furthermore, the disposal of food waste and loss in landfills produces greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. Food loss and waste can also hurt food security and availability, as well as contribute to rising food prices.
Our food systems cannot be resilient unless they are sustainable, which is why we must prioritize the adoption of integrated approaches to reduce food loss and waste.
Global and local actions are required to maximize the use of the food we produce. Technology, innovative solutions (such as e-commerce platforms for marketing and retractable mobile food processing systems), new ways of working, and good practices to manage food quality and reduce food loss and waste are critical to implementing this transformative change.
With only eight years left to achieve SDG 12 targets 1, 2, and 3, there is an urgent need to accelerate action to reduce food loss and waste.