FAO and Kyoto University partner to reduce food waste


Inside the Central KU canteen ©Ayaka Nomura

28/01/2020 - 

A pilot project implemented by Kyoto University (KU) in 2019, aimed at raising awareness on food waste in canteens on the campus, and enhancing the knowledge and engagement of students in reducing food loss and waste, determined that approximately 20 per cent of food is wasted in canteens on campus. Research findings under the pilot highlighted that the most wasted foods on the campus include side vegetables, rice and noodles, and parts of fish.  

Other key activities of the project included an International Symposium on Food Waste Reduction and Education, conducted in June 2019, to sensitize students about food waste and its implications, and an event organized in November 2018 to disseminate the Do Good Save Food educational materials jointly developed by FAO and the International Food Waste Coalition. Some of these materials were translated into Japanese by KU students on a voluntary basis and proved to be very effective in raising awareness and engaging young scholars, teachers and parentsin the Kyoto municipality.

Supported by FAO in the framework of an on-going partnership, these activities highlight how FAO’s partnerships with academia can help to develop youth capacities, raise awareness on food sustainability and encourage students to take actions to contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

FAO and Kyoto University signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2016 and renewed the agreement in March 2018. This long-standing partnership focuses on knowledge and technical expertise exchanges and awareness raising, in particular, on food waste and urban food policy agenda, development of agriculture modelling tools, and the exploration of the nexus between climate change and sustainable food and agriculture systems. Examples of previous collaborations include joint organization of the International Symposium on Food and Sustainability (October 2018, Kyoto), a seminar ‘’Kyoto University – Creating Knowledge for Food Security’’ (FAO HQ, March 2018), and the International Symposium on the Impact of Climate Change on Food and Agriculture (June 2017, Kyoto), amongst other initiatives.   

Kyoto University was founded in 1897, and was the second university established in Japan. It is one of Asia's highest ranked universities and one of Japan's National Seven Universities. The university has prided itself in its research oriented approach and as a pioneer of fieldwork.

For more information about the project, please contact:

FAO: Rosa Rolle, Senior Enterprise Development Officer, FAO/ESN (mail to: rosa.rolle@fao.org)

Kyoto University: Yosuke Yamashi, Professor, Vice-Dean, Graduate School of Advanced Integrated Studies in Human Survivability (mail to: yosuke_y@mac.com).