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Technical Platform on the Measurement and Reduction of Food Loss and Waste

Food waste reduction

Regions and countries across the world launched actions on food waste reduction and measurement.

Regional level

Near East and North Africa

The Near East & North Africa (NENA) Regional Strategic Framework for reducing FLW is based on the region’s socio-economic and natural resources context. FLW in the Near East and North Africa (NENA) Region are high and contribute to reduced food availability, aggravated water scarcity, adverse environmental impacts and increased food imports, in an already highly import-dependent region.

Europe and Central Asia

The 2014 FAO report on FLW Reduction in Europe and Central Asia for Improved Food Security and Agri-food Chain Efficiency complements the FLW reports for Turkey, Ukraine, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan. The European Commission launched the Communication on Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy on 2 December 2015. It called on the Commission to establish a Platform dedicated to food waste prevention. As a result, in April 2016 the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste was launched.

Latin America and the Caribbean

On 27 January 2016 in Quito, on the occasion of the Fourth Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the region’s leaders reaffirmed their commitment to prioritize the consolidation and implementation of the CELAC Plan for Food Security, Nutrition and Hunger Eradication and reiterated their request that FAO support the process. This includes also the creation of the Regional Alliance for Reducing Food Waste and Losses.

The September 2015 first Regional dialogue on food losses and waste for Latin America and the Caribbean was facilitated by FAO and brought together working groups, national committees on food security, technicians, civil society, academia, food industry and other food system actors to move towards FLW reduction at national and regional level.

Asia and the Pacific

Asia and the Pacific launched Zero Hunger Challenges. In accordance with the SAVE FOOD Regional Joint Communiqué, Thailand established the national network hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and in collaboration with FAO. The Governments of Indonesia and Malaysia address food waste with FAO Technical Co-operation Programme support.

Sub-Saharan Africa

The 2014 Food and Nutrition Security Workshop was enabled by the World Future Council (WFC), the City of Windhoek (Namibia), the City of Belo Horizonte (Brazil) and FAO. It addressed food waste prevention and reduction as well as urban and peri-urban agriculture in Namibia and launched the Windhoek Declaration on Food and Nutrition Security.

Country level selected interventions

Argentina

national policy on food losses and food waste coordinated by the Ministry of Agroindustry in Argentina, was launched in 2015.

China

In 2014, the Chinese government has taken several steps towards the reduction of food loss and waste. The Central Committee and State Council issued a joint circular on “Practicing strict economy and fighting against waste (in Chinese)”. The State Administration of Grain, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine issued a notice on “Saving food and reducing food losses among foodstuffs and oil-processing industries (Chinese).

Turkey

In January 2013 the Turkish Grain Board (TMO) and the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock together with relevant stakeholders along the supply chains launched the Campaign for Preventing Bread Waste. By 2014 the program achieved: (i) reduction of 18% on average in waste from 2011 to 2012; (ii) bread waste which was 5.9 million loaves per day (2.17 billion loaves per year) in 2012 decreased to 4.9 million loaves per day (1.8 billion loaves per year) in 2013. The value of bread waste, which was 1.6 billion TL (around 697 million US Dollars) in 2012, has been reduced to 1.3 billion TL (around 565 million US Dollars); 40% of this reduction was registered in households, staff dining halls and student dining halls.

South Africa

From 2 to 5 June 2015 South Africa hosted a multi-stakeholder consultation workshop to gather information for a National Food Waste Prevention and Reduction Programme that will include pilot actions in Johannesburg and Tshwane.

Spain

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment of Spain is leading the multi-actor “More Food, Less Waste” Strategy. The dedicated website offers key information and guidance to raise awareness and improve capacity to prevent and reduce food waste in households, education centres and retail: “Practical guide to reduce food waste in the retail sector. Good use of food” (“Guía práctica para reducir el desperdicio alimentario en el comercio minorista. Buen Aprovecho”) (2015) ; “Practical guide to reduce food waste at education centres. Good use of food” (“Guía práctica para reducir el desperdicio alimentario en los centros educativos. Buen Aprovecho”) (2014)“Practical guide for the consumer: How to reduce food waste. Good use of food” (“Guía práctica para el consumidor: Cómo reducir el desperdicio alimentario. Buen Aprovecho”) (2014)Studies on the quantification of food waste in Spain are also available.

United States of America

In September 2015 US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a national goal to reduce food waste by 50% by the year 2030. United States estimates that approximately 31 percent of the overall food supply available to retailers and consumers is lost or wasted with impact on food security, natural resources, and climate change.

Local level selected interventions

Urban Food Policy Pact

On 15 October 2015, 116 cities across the world signed the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact. The Pact was presented to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on October 16, World Food Day. It aims to support policy coherence and was launched together with its Action Plan and Selected Good Practices.

Recommended actions for food waste reduction and measurement

  • Convene food system actors to assess and monitor food loss and waste reduction at all stages of the city region food supply chain, (including production, processing, packaging, safe food preparation, presentation and handling, re-use and recycling) and ensure holistic planning and design, transparency, accountability and policy integration.
  • Raise awareness of food loss and waste through targeted events and campaigns; identify focal points such as educational institutions, community markets, company shops and other solidarity or circular economy initiatives.
  • Collaborate with the private sector along with research, educational and community-based organisations to develop and review, as appropriate, municipal policies and regulations (e.g. processes, cosmetic and grading standards, expiration dates, etc.) to prevent waste or safely recover food and packaging using a “food use-not-waste” hierarchy.
  • Save food by facilitating recovery and redistribution for human consumption of safe and nutritious foods, if applicable, that are at risk of being lost, discarded or wasted from production, manufacturing, retail, catering, wholesale and hospitality.

Recovery and redistribution of safe and nutritious food for human consumption

Recovery of safe and nutritious food for human consumption is to receive, with or without payment, food (processed, semi-processed or raw) which would otherwise be discarded or wasted from the agricultural, livestock, forestry and fisheries supply chains of the food system. Redistribution of safe and nutritious food for human consumption is to store or process and then distribute the received food pursuant to appropriate safety, quality and regulatory frameworks directly or through intermediaries, and with or without payment, to those having access to it for food intake. (FAO, 2015)

Current forms of recovery and redistribution of safe and nutritious food involve a variety of stakeholders in a diverse mix of initiatives, such as: gleaning networks, food banks (warehouse, direct service, virtual, mixed form), social supermarkets and community shops, food pantries, soup kitchens and community/charitable programmes, shelters, mixed form of social protection programmes that provides food, directly or indirectly, among other services.

Countries around the world have initiated addressing the area of recovery and redistribution of safe and nutritious food for human consumption through, among other, developing guidance on the implementation of such actions. 

Youth and local authorities

From 21 to 22 October 2015 the first European Forum of Young and Local Authorities against food waste and for global Right to Food was held in Milan (Italy) and launched the “Don’t Waste Our Future Charter 2015 - A joint European Manifesto of Young People and Local Authorities to promote Food Waste Reduction and the global Right to Food”.