Food losses and waste in the context of sustainable food systems - E-consultation to set the track of the study

03.04.2013 - 30.04.2013

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) in its thirty-ninth Session (October 2012) requested the High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE), to undertake a study on ‘Food losses and waste in the context of sustainable food systems’ to be presented to the Plenary in 2014. This report has to be policy oriented, practical and operational.

As part of its report elaboration process, the HLPE is launching an e-consultation to seek views, public feedback and comments, on the pertinence and interconnections of some key questions that the report proposes to address, in line with the request from the CFS, and that could form the building blocks of the report. References of global and national studies and data on the subject, especially on food waste, are also welcome.

The feedback received will be used by the HLPE Steering Committee to finalize the terms of reference of the study and the HLPE Project Team that will be appointed to prepare the study and policy recommendations.

To download the proposed scope, please click here.
If you wish to contribute, send an email or use the form below.

The consultation is open until 30th April 2013.


In parallel, the HLPE is calling experts interested in participating or in leading the Project Team for this report. Information on this call is available on the HLPE website. The HLPE Steering Committee will appoint the Project Team after review of candidatures.

The HLPE Steering Committee

Vincenzo Lo Scalzo Agorà Ambrosiana, Italy

I put to the attention of the HLPE Comittee the open Talk at Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition kept at © Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition 2012 - with the participation of Jean Schwab, Tristram Struart and Andrea Segre.

An issue of the relevant report with the title “Spreco alimentare:come ridurlo dal campo alla tavola” is edited in few languages and available to download at the Barilla’s Center.

The European and global scenario which was presente is a valuable effort to an updated assement to face at the HLPE. The debate took place on May 23, 2012 in Milano and discussed again at 4th International Forum 2012 November 28-29.

The relevant themes at the Forum have been:

I paradossi della globalizzazione:  Eccesso di cibo o acceso al cibo? Mangiare nel 2030: Il futuro dell’alimentazione tra stili di vita e innovazione. Lo spreco alimentare: una opportunità da cogliere. Come comunicare il cibo?

As author of a proposal of international debates scheme which is still “idle” of implementation with the necessary complement of “strategic tag-deliveries” for each specific meeting, AgoraAmbrosiana and myself hade taken a proper contribution by the above contribution, which is one og the theme aìof major concern in the lager issue of Food and Security for the Planet, know to FAO/ XXX as DRAFT AA, issued August/septmebre 2011.

I took part at the Forum and commented further with personal continutions as I did in occasiion of tye previous Forums. I suppose that the important contributions in all thge approrpate forms will be part of the final document of this open debate.


Dr V. Lo Scalzo, AgoràAmbrosiana

5 April, 2013 – Cannes/Milano

Alois Leidwein Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety Research Coordination, ...

Dear colleagues

Comment on track of  the "HLPE report on Food losses and waste in the context of sustainable food systems"

I think  the concept is reasonable,

To enhance implementation the reports should describe technical and policy tools for reducing food losses very striking, particularly

  • plant protection on the fields
  • harvest techniques and transport (maintenance of equipment)
  • storage facilities and  storage protection (on farms, commercial storage and in households),

2 more issues for developed countries we know from statistics that

  1. 70 % of fruit growing in private gardens ist not harvested. (windfall), because it is not needed, there is not enough time, people do not know how to conserve or store
  2. we need up to 10% of the agricultural area forthe production of pet food (mainly for feeding dogs and cats).around half of the meat used for pet food is not edible offal, but half of the meat fed to pets is suitable for human consumption

Dr.Dr. Alois Leidwein
Head of Department

AGES - Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety
Research Coordination, Knowledge Transfer, AGES Academy

Kenneth Cassman Univ. of Nebraska /CGIAR Independent Science and Partnership Council , ...

Previous studies of food losses and waste have often been confounded by lack of transparency about methods used to estimate losses and waste, and by not equalizing quantities of food losses and waste in terms of human edible calories and protein.  Instead they often report losses in fresh weight, which in developed countries heavily biases the results towards perishable foods that contain lots of moisture (e.g. fruits, vegetables, liquids, etc) but relatively sparse caloric content.   So, please in the current study provide clarity on methods used to estimate losses and waste, and also please focus on the major food crops that provide more than 80% of human caloric intake, including:  rice, wheat, maize, sorghum, millet, cassava, potato, groundnut, common bean, cowpea, chickpea, and lentils.

Without such clarity and focus, studies of the food waste and food losses are not very relevant to concerns about global, national and regional food security issues.

Sreekanth G B India

I would like to contribute in terms of the post harvest losses happens in the field of fisheries especiallly in the countries like India where the existence of a multispecies fishery multiplies the possibility of food loss. Thia s is very important aspect to be studied as there is a surplus production of fish in India. The percapita consumption of fish in India is about 9.7 kg. The improvement is not taking place as the enhanced population growth as well as the accessibility of the commodity. The major chunk (80%) of the production will be eaten away by about 20% of the population and the wastage is also huge to the tune of 30-40% of the total production. Thus the facts should be more studied in this regard

Krishna Kaphle Canadian Hunger Foundation, Nepal

Rightly pointed, there are two problems:

Loss at farm, transport and storage prior to reaching the plates and loss from plate to garbage. The first issue needs multi approach in infrastructure development, technology adoption to sustainable harvesting. The second matter needs education right from crib and the most important thing is to remodel the way of life. Sustainable, healthy choices of food and lifestyle needs to be first implanted/established upon parents/teachers/community leaders and whoever that can influence generations to come. 

Media, entertainment, education and everything else needs to have that dimension of "do you care" and "how will you do your part" challanges and competition. Stressing on nature and outdoor education (doses of Vitamin N), right to play and instill the values of colours, smells and nutrition should be incorporated in early education.

Let us all think about the problem and do our part, changing one person at a time begining with self.

Henri Baissas NVB, France

J'ai mis au point une méthode de panification totalement innovante, qui me permet de produire des baguettes absolument délicieuses et particulièrement digeste.

Cette baguette présente l'énorme avantage d'étre parfaitement consommable, le jour de fabrication, le lendemain et même le surlendemain, de sorte que l'on ne la perd pas.

L'usage du procédé conduit à une économie de farine et à une réduction du gaspillage de l'ordre de trente pour cent. C'est considérable.

Je suis sur le point de terminer la mécanisation du procédé indispensable à son développement à grande échelle.

Cette innovation à obtenue une médaille d'argent au CONCOURS LEPINE 2010, à été nominée au GRAND PRIX MEDICIS 2010, à gagné à l'unanimité du jury le concours de l'agropole 2010.

Cette innovation mérite votre soutien.

Daniel Adotu NGO, Uganda

We produce a lot of food which could have been enough fro consumption and for sale, but the challenge is over 60% is lost to post - harvest losses . Either due to ignorance of the producers or its delibrate. Because when you interact with them , they seem to know  that they loose so much but you find them doing exactly the same thing.

like, you can find a farmer transporting oranges in a sack yet by the time s/he reaches the market over 60% of the produce is damaged but they ciontinue to do the same thing.

Our communities and everyone who consumes  any agricultural produce needs to be taught how to prolong the shelf life of the products they are handling. So that they can handle their food well and ensure they eat good food which not contaminated with food poisoning germs(aflatoxins, Botulism e.t.c)


Food wastes and sustainable food practices is an interesting topic. food wastes starts from the farms, it exposes our lack of cohesion, planning and proper management of the food production chain.

This brings to sturdy the implication of poor post harvest arrengement. Post harvest is now that the crop is ripe, Do we have a good post harvest handling technology and expertise.

Do we have appropriate preservation experience and equipments example silos. How do we handle our harvests ,were they properly harvested and put in apprioprate sack and bags designated for proper preservation.

In the case of fisheries, were the fishes properly caught, preserved in freezers or smooked and packaged in dry nylons.

Mostly. sixty percent of farm harvests are lost between harvest and the markets. This issue has brought looses and discouragement to farmers who do not have the know how for proper harvesting, preservation and transfer to the market to meet the end users.

This calls for urgent attention if we are to meet up with curtalling wastes in the food value chain. a sturdy on the best practices and immediate actions are crucial, and an intervention urgently taken to curtail food loss.

To this end, The UN system should set up a sturdy group on post harvest and food preservation to come up with solutions.

Also a parrarel sturdy of Aflatoxins in foods mostly in underdeveloped parts of the world will make interesting the results and control of food wastes and post harvest looses.





Subhash Mehta Devarao Shivaram Trust, India

The world produces double the quantity of food  needed  by our population, most of which is wasted, post harvest losses and the balance rots  in Government go downs.

The group may like to consider focusing on ‘Integrated Producer Oriented Development (IPOD) as against ‘Market Oriented Development’, the cause of the current agrarian crisis and look at the following possible solutions to make food accessible to the hungry, under nourished and the poor smallholder producers/ rural communities:

a) Communities in rural areas to set up their producer orgs/ company (PC), staffed by educated rural youth, trained to become general practitioner (GPs)/ MBAs in agriculture,  with public funding for managing the risks and take over all problems and responsibilities other than on farm activities, from their members
b) Human and institutional capacity building of unemployed women and rural educated youth
c) Develop plans and budgets for nutrition through integrated smallholder agriculture as applicable to each area
d) Create a mechanism for rural communities to access nutritious food at farm gate price (half to one seventh the retail price)
e) Advocate for assistance and support by the public sector to mobilise adequate resources
f) Ensure that the local species, breeds and varieties are adapted, as followed by successful farmers practicing low cost integrated agriculture as applicable in each area, are supported and widely replicated
g) Primary and secondary value addition to optimize shelf life to minimize post harvest losses

The group may like to consider the following actions:
a) Get the different stakeholders to focus on nutrition through agriculture
b) Emphasis on human and institutional capacity building
c) Share experience and information among stakeholders
d) Increase work at the local level
e) Align programmes and funding
f) Adopt innovative approaches to mobilizing resources
g) The producer company (PC) to manage members' risks and take over all problems and responsibilities including finance and marketing, other than on  farm activities
h) Document comparativer research and successful farmer models for wide replication
i) Engage the Private Sector, in this case the successful farmers in ach area for wide replication