Food Loss and Waste in Fish Value Chains
©FAO/Omar Penarubia
  • Supportive Policy Environment
  • Application of Appropriate Technology
  • Skills and Knowledge
  • Services and Infrastructure
  • Regulatory Environment
  • Social and Gender Equity
  • Markets

Supportive Policy Environment for Fresh Fish Retail

Policy that aims to promote responsible practices which are in line with global food safety standards and Codex requirements will automatically control food loss and waste (FLW) during retail. The basis for such policy can be found in the Code of Practice for Fish and Fishery Products.

According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), policy solutions to FLW will benefit from consistent policy across sectors (including trade, food safety and health, development, environment, energy), stakeholder engagement, the development of national strategies, creation of favourable investment climates, investment in training and capacity building and ensuring clarity and support is provided regarding food safety standards. Consideration should also be given to the entire value chain rather than simply production. 

Policy Proposal in France

Policy Proposal in France

In April 2015, French policymakers released ambitious proposals for a national policy against food waste. “Fighting Food Waste: Proposals for a Public Policy” offers a set of ideas for prevention, recovery and recycling. Some measures, including a ban on supermarket food waste, have already entered the legislative process, and others may follow. Proposals recommend actions by stakeholders across the food system, including large waste generators, food processors, retailers, restaurants, and educators.

Good Samaritan Act in the US

Good Samaritan Act in the US

To unburden retailers from uncertainties regarding the legal liability, policy makers could establish a framework encouraging retailers to donate unmarketable food. Policy makers might consider a law similar to the “Good Samaritan Act” in the USA to limit donors’ liability.

South East Asian Policy Recommendations

South East Asian Policy Recommendations

Low-cost mobile fish retailing is an important, yet under developed sector in many developing countries. A review of activities in south east Asia identified several recommendations which have policy implications:  

  • Provide more focused research on the design of improved low-cost fish retailing equipment and facilities.  
  • Formulate and implement adequate training programs for street fish and fishery product vendors regarding improved facilities, equipment, and fish handling practices.  
  • Promote agreements between street fish vendors’ organizations, local governments, fisheries and health government agencies, NGOs and international technical co-operation organizations for the technical evaluation and dissemination of information.  
  • As the legal status of some street fish vendors remains informal, registration and licensing procedures should be simple and straightforward.  
  • Formulate adequate small-scale credit programs for street fish vendors aimed at the introduction of improved low-cost facilities and equipment.  
  • Organizing street fish vendors will strengthen their group activities, allow better communication and strengthen their bargaining position with the government.  
  • Encourage national fisheries agencies to develop profiles of successful street fish vendors to serve as role models, including reference to low-cost fish retailing equipment and facilities. 
  • Strengthen street fish vendors’ organizations/groups to help catalyse the dissemination of information on a regular basis. 
  • Promote women’s participation in training activities in small business management, fish handling, and marketing. 
  • More information is needed about street fish vending operations and their businesses, their number and level of economic contribution, growth trends, the issues and challenges they are facing, and access to improved infrastructure and technologies. 

Policy Initiative in Environmentally Friendly Packaging

Policy Initiative in Environmentally Friendly Packaging

Another key policy entry point is associated with environmentally friendly packaging industries. This is particularly relevant in a developing country context where often retailers, possessors, and suppliers are constrained by limited access to affordable, modern packaging materials and equipment. Policy initiatives to promote better access to these important FLW services and technologies are important.

Key Publications

Code Of Practice For Fish And Fishery Products CAC/RCP 52-2003

Global standard that presents information on freezing and cold storage practices which aim to reduce spoilage and waste.                                     

France Moves Toward a National Policy Against Food Waste

The report discusses the idea that food is not a commodity, preventing food waste is high priority – followed by reuse and recycling – and food waste reduction can become a sustainable economic activity.

Low-cost fish retailing equipment and facilities in large urban areas of Southeast Asia

This paper describes the marketing of fresh and live fish, and provides examples of low-cost retailing equipment and facilities used in four large urban centres of Southeast Asia. 

More Resources

More Resources

This website provides information on how to support the achievement of the SDG.3 target on food waste and maximise the contribution of all actors.
This guide is designed to help retail businesses understand their food waste and provide industry-specific guidance on implementing food waste reduction solutions. Its designed for sustainability directors and business function leaders in U.S. retail.
The report provides an understanding of the opportunities and barriers to reducing food waste going to landfill from the wholesale, logistics and retail sector, including recommendations on how government can effectively engage these sectors.