Food Wastage Footprint & Climate Change
The 2011 FAO assessment of global food losses and waste estimated that each year, one-third of all food produced in the world for human consumption never reached the consumer’s table. This not only means a missed opportunity for the economy and food security, but also a waste of all the natural resources used for growing, processing, packaging, transporting and marketing food. Through an extensive literature search, the 2011 assessment of food wastage volumes gathered weight ratios of food losses and waste for different regions of the world, different commodity groups and different steps of the supply chain. These ratios were applied to regional food mass flows of FAO’s Food Balance Sheets for the year 2007. Food wastage arises at all stages of the food supply chains for a variety of reasons that are very much dependent on the local conditions within each country. At a global level, a pattern is clearly visible; in high income regions, volumes of wasted food are higher in the processing, distribution and consumption stages, whereas in low-income countries, food losses occur in the production and postharvesting phases.