FAO.org

Home > Technical Platform on the Measurement and Reduction of Food Loss and Waste > Food loss > Food loss
Technical Platform on the Measurement and Reduction of Food Loss and Waste

Food loss

Each year, one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost world-wide. Food loss refers to all food produced for human consumption but not eaten by humans. Food loss is defined as “the decrease in quantity or quality of food” (FAO, 2014).

Food is lost throughout the supply chains; from primary production to final household consumption level. Significant loss occurs in industrialized regions as well as in low-income countries where food is lost during the early and middle stages of the food supply chain with lower levels of waste at consumer level.

Community of Practice (CoP) on food loss reduction

Launched by heads of the three UN Rome-based agencies, it gathers practitioners and experts worldwide to share and disseminate information and practices. It offers the possibility to interact and collaborate, especially through its Forum.

Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction (SAVE FOOD)

FAO collaborates with the public sector, the private sector and civil society to develop and implement food loss and waste prevention and reduction solutions through: i) Advocacy and awareness raising; ii) Collaboration and coordination of world-wide initiatives on food loss and waste reduction; iii) Research to evidence for policy, strategy, legislation and standards development; iv) Support to investment programmes and projects.

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) conducts research to provide innovative, evidence-based policy solutions to enhance food security and fight poverty. One of its cutting-edge studies is the measuring of food loss and waste at all stages -- from production and post-production to processing, distribution and consumption -- in order to identify the origin and cost of food waste and loss at the local, regional and global level. IFPRI is currently working with the CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM) to better understand the levels of investment required to effectively reduce post-harvest losses through infrastructure development and technology improvements combined with best practices.