توفير الأغذية: المبادرة العالمية بشأن الحد من الفاقد والمهدر من الأغذية

Cutting food waste while improving food security and environment in Ukraine

©Natalia Kravchuk

An average Ukrainian generates 250-300 kilograms of waste per year; and this number is expected to rise. At that, up to 60% of solid municipal waste is composed of organic waste, including food waste. The current methods of waste management in Ukraine – mere collection of mixed waste and landfill disposal - have a detrimental impact on the environment. Therefore, the issue requires immediate attention.

In 2014–2017, Ukraine adopted the National Waste Management Strategy until 2030 as part of its commitment under the Association Agreement with the EU. The Strategy envisages a gradual transition from landfill waste disposal to a comprehensive waste management system, including sorting and segregation of waste for further recycling, processing and burial in the EU-compliant sanitary landfills.

With most waste accumulating in densely populated urban areas, cities must be at the forefront of tackling the problem. However, the challenges that municipalities are facing due to lack of technical and financial capacity and low policy priority hamper the efforts.     

FAO initiates action in two major cities of Ukraine

In 2019, FAO started a pilot project in two cities of Ukraine – Kyiv and Lviv – aimed to assist the Ukrainian Government in reducing municipal food waste management in line with the National Waste Management Strategy and relevant policies.

In doing so, FAO partnered with the All-Ukrainian Environmental League to study the municipal solid waste management practiced in the two cities. In addition, food losses and waste at retail, HoReCa and consumer levels were assessed, as these contribute significantly to the municipal waste generation. It was estimated that food waste makes from 20 to 55 per cent of all solid municipal waste. The findings were used to feed recommendations for the government of Ukraine, local authorities, and non-governmental organizations to advance the municipal solid waste management system.

While the sector requires structural reforms, FAO and the All-Ukrainian Environmental League focused on the reduction of food waste in households and food businesses and the improvement of food security situation of vulnerable groups in Kyiv and Lviv through an educational program and food recovery and redistribution activities. The latter include a so-called "Feed Your Neighbour" initiative, which through a network of volunteers recovers food surpluses from local food companies and redistributes it to food-insecure groups and individuals. The All-Ukrainian Environmental League established partnerships with a number of food producers, retailers and food service companies to support a care centre for elderly people in Kyiv and a homeless shelter in Lviv, as both institutions rely on donations to meet immediate needs of vulnerable and disadvantaged.

To facilitate and expand the reach of this initiative, the All-Ukrainian Environmental League is working to develop an online platform for registration of surplus food available for collection from businesses. Thus, the platform would connect the potential food donors - farmers, retailers, and businesses in the HoReCa sector – with food banks, civil society organizations, and municipal social care institutions to claim donations for redistribution to their food-insecure beneficiaries.

In addition, the All-Ukrainian Environmental League is working on the adaptation of educational materials that will be used in primary and secondary schools of Kyiv and Lviv to educate children on food waste reduction. The package of educational guides “Do Good: Save Food!” was developed by FAO in close cooperation with International Food Waste Coalition to shape and promote a more sustainable consumption among children. For, educating young people – the future consumers - would bring about the behaviour change required to stem food waste problem.

The guides seek to promote awareness of the economic, social and environmental consequences of wasting food, advantages of preventing food waste, actions that children can take to reduce food waste and good habits that they can develop and introduce to their friends, families and communities to reduce food waste.

The package comprises four teaching manuals targeted to children of different age groups and includes games, quizzes and other interactive activities to help improve knowledge and understanding of children, but also empower them to start acting differently now.  

About the project

This project is implemented under FAO’s regional SAVE FOOD Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction with the support of the Multidisciplinary Fund.

The SAVE FOOD Initiative of FAO aims to guide and facilitate collaboration between the private sector, governments, research, and civil society to improve the general impact of interventions through joint planning and implementation and efficient use of resources. SAVE FOOD takes a multi-disciplinary holistic, integrated approach, to ensure that food loss and waste reduction is technically, economically, environmentally and socially acceptable, feasible and cost-effective.

FAO’s Multidisciplinary Fund (MDF), being part of the Programme Work and Budget in 2018-19, were funding initiatives to strengthen collaboration across disciplines and organizational boundaries and to encourage formulation of creative measures that increase the efficiency and effectiveness of delivering Regional Initiatives and the work of FAO Strategic Programs at country level.

FAO webinar offers solutions for reducing food waste and improving food security amidst pandemic


11 November 2020, Budapest, Hungary – An FAO webinar, focusing on Europe and Central Asia, was held to exchange and promote new practices for facilitating vulnerable groups’ access to food and tackling food waste through the development and adoption of innovative solutions. A recording of the virtual event, “Food waste prevention and reduction in times of crisis", is available online.

Prevention and control measures related to the COVID-19 human health crisis have not only brought the fragility of our agrifood systems to the forefront, but have also further challenged them. Whereas significant amounts of food are lost and wasted at different stages of the value chain as a result of logistical and other issues, the difficulty in obtaining food donations has hampered the effort to feed the growing number of vulnerable populations (including those affected financially by the crisis) through recovering and redistributing – otherwise lost or wasted – surplus food.

To this end, experts from different sectors shared their first-hand experience and discussed solutions and practices to prevent and reduce food waste in this unprecedented situation.

“FAO encourages countries to adopt holistic approaches to tackle food loss and waste, and ensure access to food for all – particularly for vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Robert van Otterdijk, FAO agro-industry officer. “As a baseline, FAO’s policy paper provides ideas for strategic measures and interventions to reduce food loss and waste in traditional food supply chains.”

Angela Frigo, the Secretary General of the European Food Banks Federation noted that during the lockdown period in Europe, food demand increased on average by 30 percent, but food banks continued to support the most needy, with digital tools making a real difference. 

Liliana Annovazzi-Jakab, Head of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Agricultural Quality Standards Unit, presented the initiative called [email protected] that builds on systematic tracing of food loss and online marketplaces for fast distribution of recovered food.

Noting the importance of collaboration and communication along the entire supply chain to reduce food loss and waste, Liz Goodwin, Director of the World Resources Institute, highlighted some corporate initiatives, such as the 10x20x30 that could serve as a model for others to follow.

The panel discussion featured: Ellen Oetelmans, program manager of Amsterdam Impact; Irina Kuzmina, Charity Programs Manager of X5 Retail Group; and Balázs Cseh, President of the Hungarian Food Bank Association.

‘I Pledge’ social media campaign kicked off under Save Your Food

Photo: Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Turkey

22 October, 2020, Ankara – Under the joint Save Your Food campaign, FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Turkey launched a national social media initiative called “I Pledge”, which aims to trigger food waste reduction through behavioural change around food.

At the press conference assembled on this occasion, the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, Bekir Pakdemirli recounted the progress made by the Save Your Food campaign since its launch in May 2020. Pakdemirli underlined the efforts made to educate and sensitize the public with the issue.

Initiated by Minister Pakdemirli, the “I Pledge” social media campaign also received extensive support from numerous public figures, notably well-known nutritionist and FAO Supporter Dilara Koçak as well as singer Gülben Ergen, actress and singer Şevval Sam, TV Presenter and author Özge Uzun and former football player Tanju Çolak.

The Save Your Food campaign in Turkey plans to widen consumer knowledge of the benefits of reducing food waste and encourage the development of waste prevention behaviours – so as to achieve profound and lasting changes in the way that people consume food. “Save Your Food” has also invited public and private partners to support the activities organized under the campaign. The engagement of other stakeholders, including the country’s largest producers and retailers, will be essential for the creation of an environment conducive for such behavioural change.

Food loss and waste must be reduced for greater food security and environmental sustainability


29 September 2020, Rome/Nairobi/New York – At the global event marking today the first International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and their partners urged everyone to do more to reduce food loss and waste or risk an even greater drop in food security and natural resources.

Some 690 million people today are hungry and three billion cannot afford a healthy diet. Hunger has been on the rise for the past five years, and the COVID-19 pandemic is threatening the food and nutrition security of up to an additional 132 million of people. On top of that, we are faced with an ecosystem decline and the consequences of climate change.

Yet, food continues to be lost and wasted. This year we have witnessed an increase in food loss and waste as a result of movement and transport restrictions due to the pandemic.

COVID-19 aside, however, each year about 14 percent of the world's food is lost before even reaching the market. Food loss is valued at $400 billion annually - about the GDP of Austria. On top of this comes food waste, for which new estimates are coming out early 2021. When it comes to environmental impact, food loss and waste generate eight percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Food loss occurs from farm up to and excluding retail, whilst food waste occurs at retail, food service and household level. Causes range from poor handling, inadequate transport or storage, lack of cold chain capacity, extreme weather conditions to cosmetic standards, and a lack of planning and cooking skills among consumers.

Simply put, reducing food lost or wasted means more food for all, less greenhouse gas emissions, less pressure on the environment, and increased productivity and economic growth. 

[Continue reading here]

Metropolitan municipalities of Turkey show support to Save Your Food campaign

Photo:©İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality

11 August 2020, Ankara/ Istanbul - FAO held a series of meetings with Ankara and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipalities, pioneers in food waste prevention and reduction. The meetings aimed to expand collaboration with the Municipalities as part of the project: “Reduction of Food Loss and Waste in Central Asia”, which is implemented jointly by FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Turkey.

During the meeting the parties explored issues ranging from strengthening local food value chains to improving food security and preventing and reducing food loss and waste. Both, the Mayor of Ankara Metropolitan Municipality and the Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality expressed their deep concern about the alarming signs of increasing food insecurity in the world. And while the food produced is enough to feed everyone, each year nearly a third of it is squandered or lost. It is estimated that 18 million tonnes of food is lost or wasted in Turkey annually. As the Mayor of the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Ekrem İmamoğlu, highlighted, the amount of food waste in Istanbul alone equals the number of hungry in some countries.

A considerable work to be done to curb the issue. Viorel Gutu, Subregional Coordinator for Central Asia and FAO Representative in Turkey, noted that actions to tackle these troubling trends would have to be accelerated and scaled up in terms of cross-sectoral and multidiciplinary collaboration. “Under the Save Your Food campaign we are looking to establish strong partnerships to broaden the reach and impact of our efforts in preventing and reducing food loss and waste at local and national level.”

The Municipalities of Ankara and Istanbul committed to support the campaign through the dissemination of relevant messages and informational materials. In addition, the implementation of relevant actions of the National Strategy for Prevention, Reduction and Management of food Losses and Waste in Turkey would be considered.

The national Save Your Food campaign was launched in Turkey by FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to raise public awareness and understanding of the issue and promote good practices to prevent and reduce food loss and waste. 

Funded by the Government of the Republic of Turkey, the project “Reduction of Food Loss and Waste in Central Asia” aims to assist Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan in developing measures to reduce food loss and waste. In particular, the project will support the recipient countries to develop national strategic policy and action plans to reduce FLW; 
improve knowledge management and capacities; 
and raise awareness and understanding of food loss and waste among the actors.  

The law on tax deduction on charitable contributions came into force in Russia


On June 8, 2020, Federal Law on amendments to the Tax Code of the Russian Federation came into force. The law establishes income tax preferences for donations to public-benefit and non-profit organisations, as well as to those that have suffered from the COVID-19. The amendments to the Tax Code provide the incentives for legal entities to support charity organisations, including food banks.

Charitable contributions made by legal entities to non-profit organisations may be now attributed to the so-called non-operating costs – up to 1% of revenue, and thus qualify for tax relief.

“The companies that donate food and essential goods to us will be able to benefit from the tax amendments. What is important, this applies not only to product donations, but also to monetary contributions that are essential for continuous operations of non-profit organisations. However, while the amendments provide exemption from paying income tax, we believe that the abolition of VAT payment would further increase the volume of food and products donations, which is especially needed at the moment", commented Yulia Nazarova, Head of the Rus Food Fund.

In Russia, it was proposed to ban the disposal of food waste


The amendment of the corresponding government order is being considered. The relevant State Duma committee and the Accounts Chamber supported the initiative.

Russia generates 17 million tons of food waste annually, 94% of which is sent to landfills. According to the Federal Supervisory Natural Resources Management Service, their existing capacity will be exhausted in 3 - 5 years.

To this end, the State Duma proposed to ban food waste disposal in municipal solid waste landfills. It is expected that the new regulations would come into force on January 1, 2022, thus allowing the waste management industry to adapt and take measures.

The ban would not apply to mixed waste generated by the population, but concern legal entities only. More information (content in Russian).

FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Turkey held a special session with the Union of the Municipalities of Turkey


08 July 2020, Ankara Turkey – FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Turkey organised a special session today with the Union of the Municipalities of Turkey as the part of the joint SAVE YOUR FOOD campaign.

Launched in May, the Campaign released the National Strategy and Action Plan on the Prevention and Reduction of Food Loss and Waste in Turkey, developed in collaboration by FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Turkey, while taking into consideration reviews and recommendations of over 100 related stakeholders, ranging from private sector to NGOs and academia to interest groups.

The Strategy and Action Plan aim to empower and provide guidance for policy- and decision-makers, as well as the actors who actively engage on the matter, and accelerate efforts to prevent food loss and waste through adopting concrete solutions.

As per the initial step, a dedicated session was organized with the Union of the Municipalities of Turkey, which participation and support would be of utmost importance for a successful implementation of the Action Plan. 

In his opening remarks, Viorel Gutu, Subregional Coordinator for Central Asia and FAO Representative in Turkey stated that the Action Plan of the Strategy comprises 95 concrete measures, including legal and policy, technical, education and communication measures, addressing the issue at each stage of the food value chain and continued as follows:

“Among these, as many as 33 targeted actions were identified to be taken by local authorities and businesses to further improve food waste prevention, separation, and reuse. Adequate support and guidance from the Union of the Municipalities of Turkey would be crucial to deliver on the targets.”

Fatma Şahin, President of the Union of the Municipalities of Turkey said that fruits and vegetables made the majority of food wasted in the cities - nearly 50 percent, while the daily bread waste amounted to nearly 4.9 million loaves. “As municipalities are in the closest reach to the public, we are set to actively support the campaign and spread the message”, she added.

33 actions outlined in the Action Plan were introduced to the Union of the Municipalities of Turkey, said Bekir Pakdemirli, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry of Turkey, emphasising the significant role of municipalities in the prevention and reduction of food loss and waste.

“We know that the municipalities have started addressing food waste at marketplaces and we expect them to introduce relevant compost and biogas facilities. We would be glad to increase the support for logistics and cold chain solutions to aid food donation in provinces and districts”, he added.

Joint food loss and waste reduction campaign of FAO and Turkey takes off


20 May 2020, Ankara, Turkey – FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Turkey launched a joint national media campaign “Save Your Food” to raise public awareness about the detrimental impacts of food loss and waste, and to stimulate action along the food supply chain.

Curbing food loss and waste means revising institutional and legal frameworks, improving methods of food production, conservation and distribution, and changing resource-intensive consumption patterns.

To this end, the “Save Your Food” campaign in Turkey plans to widen consumer knowledge of the benefits of reducing food waste and encourage the development of waste prevention behaviours – so as to achieve profound and lasting changes in the way that people consume food. “Save Your Food” has also invited public and private partners to support the activities organized under the campaign. The engagement of other stakeholders, including the country’s largest producers and retailers, will be essential for the creation of an environment conducive for such behavioural change. [Read more]

Food waste prevention initiatives in the EU during the COVID-19 crisis


The COVID-19 pandemic is putting governments, businesses, people and the economy, under severe pressure. While the focus of all actors is on protecting public health, the food supply chain is also impacted, and measures taken may, for some sectors, lead to increased food waste. Food banks and other charity organisations are also facing challenges as regards the availability of surplus food and/or volunteers.

The EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste prepared an overview of actions taken by its members in the different Member States of the EU to prevent food loss and waste in the context of this unprecedented crisis. 

Please find the compilation of good practices here.

Food rescue project launched in Russia


TIARCENTER, an analytical centre, launched the 1M TONNE project, aimed to develop food sharing in Russia and thereby decrease food waste by 1 million tons per year. To date, just about 7 thousand tons of surplus food is redistributed annually.

1M TONNE is an online platform, aggregating information on the existing food-sharing services and NGOs working in the field of food rescue in Russia, allowing users, be it a food donor or a recipient, to locate the most appropriate tool or a service provider. The platform is also a gateway to news and analytics on food sharing and food rescue.

According to TIARCENTER, the annual amount of food waste generated at the level of retail and households in Russia is at least 17 million tons. Not only this has a significant negative impact on the environment, being a source of 2.4 million tons of methane and other gases, but causes major financial losses. The market value of products thrown away each year is estimated to be more than 1.6 trillion ruble. This amount of products would be enough to feed 30 million people for a whole year — more than the number of Russians living below the poverty line (about 20 million people).

Adopting the circular economy approach on food loss and waste


28 January 2020, Moscow, Russia - “Preventing food waste, promoting circular economy” was the focus of a special session, co-organized by FAO and Messe Düsseldorf Moscow at the upakovka-2020 fair, one of the major trade shows in Russia for processing and packaging machines industry.


Increasing availability and affordability of different materials and products have simplified our lives and contributed to the rise in living standards and the quality of life in the developed countries. However, our culture of consumption has resulted in excessive resource extraction and growing pressures on natural capital and climate. We need to make sure that we can continue to grow our economy in a sustainable way and improve the living standards. This will require steps for changing the way we produce, transform, consume and distribute food by accelerating the transition to a sustainable food system based on circular economy principles. This will in turn not only cut waste, it will also reduce the need for new resources to be extracted at great financial and environmental cost.


The event was aimed to present the local and international cases and good practices in adopting the principles of circular economy. The speakers paid particular attention to the challenges and opportunities of this transition, and reflected on the capacity of business entities in Russia to capitalize on switching to a new, more sustainable model of production across the agri-food sector.


Shifting to the circular economy approach would “promote economic growth through closed-loop systems and new market opportunities and climate change mitigation as a result of efficient use of resources”, said Myriam Annette, FAO Food Loss and Waste consultant from the Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia.


Other speakers included representatives from public sector, research institutions, companies and non-governmental organizations, all speaking about different aspects of circular economy. The highlights of the presentations are available here.  

FAO-Turkey Partnership Program launched a comprehensive project on food loss and waste reduction


20 December 2019 - Ankara, Turkey – FAO started the implementation of a technical assistance project Reduction of Food Loss and Waste in the SEC Countries within the framework of the second phase of FAO-Turkey Partnership Program on Food and Agriculture. 


Established in 2006, the FAO-Turkey Partnership Programme (FTPP) focuses on achieving food security and combatting rural poverty in countries of the Caucasus and in the Central Asia sub-region through projects operated at the national, multi-country and sub-regional level. In 2014, Turkey and FAO commenced the second phase of partnership under which Turkey committed to contributing an additional $20 million. A range of projects under the Programme’s second phase will address the issues of food security and nutrition, agricultural and rural development, protection and management of natural resources, agricultural policies, and food safety.


Project “Reduction of Food Loss and Waste in the SEC Countries”, in particular, aims to assist recipient countries - Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan - in developing national strategies and action plans for reducing food loss and waste, aligned with national policies and context and based on the "food waste management hierarchy". It will focus on implementing the key strategic actions of the food loss and waste reduction strategy, both at the policy and technical levels, and will target all subsectors of the food system, from farmers to consumers.


Additionally, various consumer-facing communication activities and targeted media campaign will be designed to create awareness and improve understanding of causes and impacts of food losses and waste and to drive behaviour change in individuals and communities. The public sector, as well as food business operators, will be mobilized through direct cooperation, including via a dedicated Community of Practice, and through specialised events.


Other projects ratified under the FTPP-II will focus on the capacity building for sustainable fisheries and aquaculture management and strengthening regional collaboration for management of wheat rust diseases and resistance breeding. 

Results of the analysis of food losses and waste in North Macedonia


11 December 2019, Skopje, North Macedonia - Results of the analysis of food losses and waste in selected food value chains in North Macedonia were presented at a workshop last week. The findings will directly support the formulation of a food loss and waste reduction action program.

The six-month in-depth field study on food losses and waste in fruit and vegetable value chains, including apples, plums, peaches, tomatoes, cabbages and peppers in North Macedonia, was conducted by the NGO Ajde Makedonija under the technical cooperation programme of FAO Office for Europe and Central Asia. The Programme is supporting the formulation of national strategies for food loss and waste reduction in Albania, Armenia, Moldova and North Macedonia.

For this detailed study, the research team was trained to use FAO's food loss analysis methodology comprising a screening stage (interviews with experts and review of the literature), field activities (surveying and sampling) and synthesis.

Based on the results of the field study, the research team made recommendations on the development of the level of competence and strengthening of value chains through incentives system; increased financial, infrastructural, and administrative support for cooperatives; capacity development and promotion of innovation. These recommendations informed the discussion by a working group of the key elements of a national strategy for the prevention and reduction of food loss and waste in North Macedonia.

As a next step, an analysis of the legislation and policies relating to food loss and waste will be carried out in order to identify whether the current framework favours or, on the contrary, prevents innovative action in the management of food loss and waste and whether adjustments are needed.

Using the data collected from field surveys and analysis of legislation and policies, a comprehensive strategic food loss and waste reduction program will be developed and policy and regulatory frameworks and processes will be strengthened.

FAO and Turkey prepare national strategy on food loss and waste reduction


28 Nov 2019, Izmir, Turkey - FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Republic of Turkey assembled the concluding workshop of the “Zero Waste Zero Hunger: Support to Awareness Raising on Food Loss and Waste” project (Project), which was implemented under the FAO’s SAVE FOOD Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction in Europe and Central Asia. Representatives from private sector, academia and business associations gathered in Izmir to discuss the recent developments with regard to the measurement and reduction of food loss and waste in Turkey.


The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of the Republic of Turkey prioritized the prevention and reduction of food losses and waste at national level as part of the food and nutrition security and climate change mitigation and in line with the 2030 Agenda. To this end, some targeted measures were undertaken, including the establishment of a G20 Technical Platform on the Measurement and Reduction of Food Loss and Waste, launch of a Bread Waste Campaign and implementation of a technical project “Zero Waste, Zero Hunger: Support to Awareness Raising on Food Loss and Waste” in 2019. The latter comprised a series of workshops that informed the drafting process of a National Strategy on Food Loss and Waste Reduction in Turkey.


In his opening speech, Sheikh Ahaduzzaman, Programme Officer FAO Turkey, emphasized that FAO had addressed the issue of food loss and waste as early as in 2011. “This year, in cooperation with the Ministry, we organized two workshops aimed to examine the scope of food loss and waste in Turkey. At this final workshop we will study the world’s best practices in food loss and waste measurement and consider the most efficient approaches to curbing the issue”, Ahaduzzaman added.


Ahmet Volkan Güngören, Deputy Director General for EU and Foreign Relations at the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, said that a multi-disciplinary and multi-stake-holder approach was taken to design a national strategy and an action plan on food loss and waste reduction. He added, “Both, the strategic document and an action plan are expected to be presented under a forthcoming “SAVE YOUR FOOD” Campaign in 2020”.


Following the opening speeches, the workshop continued with the presentations of Camelia Bucatariu, International Consultant for FAO, and Erdoğan Güneş, Professor at the Ankara University and the Project National Consultant.


Bucatariu updated the workshop participants on the regional and global efforts on food losses measurement approaches and knowledge on prevention and reduction.

Erdoğan Güneş, professor of Ankara University concluded, “What we can measure, we will be able to manage”.


Food security and food loss and waste in Georgia


4 December 2019, Georgia - In Georgia, 8.9% of the population is severely affected by food insecurity. While governmental social programs are in place, many remain hungry. According to a 2016 report by Transparency International Georgia, providing a meal to every Tbilisi resident on a waiting list at a free kitchen would require a total of GEL 20 million (USD 6,7 million). Notably, charity organizations are required to buy most of the food they serve. At that, retailers, wholesalers and other food business operators record high amounts of unsold or discarded produce, which could potentially feed those in need and thereby contribute to enhancing food security.

While the Strategy for Agricultural Development in Georgia (2015-20) aims to eliminate rural poverty and improve food security through sustainable agricultural, more food could be made available for consumption by reducing food losses and waste.

FAO Office for Europe and Central Asia is supporting the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia in formulating a National Strategic Programme on Food Loss and Waste Reduction in line with existing relevant national strategies for the agricultural sector.

Further to assessing the extent and causes of food loss and waste in Georgia, FAO analysed the existing legal framework and provided targeted recommendations that include, in particular, introducing a simple and fast administrative procedure for the donation of surplus food and making amendments to legislation - one of the key barriers to developing food redistribution system in the country. The recommended regulatory changes – exempting food business operators from VAT on donations of food surpluses and revising existing food safety rules to facilitate the redistribution of food, based on EU best practices and guidelines.

Additionally, in view of the limited capacity and infrastructure to receive and distribute surplus food, FAO advocated for establishing a food bank and for that reason organized a visit of the European Federation of Food Banks to Georgia to present food-banking models and explore potential for collaboration.

Based on the FAO’s recommendations, the inter-ministerial task force group is holding a series of discussions on the roles and duties of all involved institutions; an action plan will be developed to undertake the necessary steps to commence the establishment of the redistribution system.

Municipal food waste in Ukraine: challenges and action taken

19 November 2019, Ukraine - World’s growing population and unprecedented urbanization introduce additional challenges associated with the use of resources and management of waste, including an increased amount of food waste generated. Nevertheless, cities are uniquely positioned to tackle these issues, as they are more agile in the policy development and program implementation.

In Ukraine, with an annual volume of municipal solid waste (MSW) reaching 13 million tonnes, more than 95 per cent of it is sent to landfills and dumps. At that, according to the Sixth National Communication of Ukraine on Climate Change, 35-50 per cent of the MSW is composed of food waste. Lack of waste disposal facilities and poorly developed system of food recovery and redistribution, coupled with low awareness about the ways to reduce waste, all contribute to the extent and complexity of the problem of urban waste management in Ukraine.

To this end, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine approved a National Waste Management Strategy until 2030, incorporating the principles of the circular economy and those of food loss and waste (FLW) management hierarchy. According to the latter, recovery and redistribution of safe and nutritious food for direct human consumption is, after prevention at the source, the preferred option to waste treatment.

To support the Ukrainian government, FAO launched a pilot Project in two cities – Kyiv and Lviv. In particular, the Project team liaises with the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources and relevant City Administrations to facilitate the development of a strategy and an action plan for municipal food waste reduction in line with the FLW management hierarchy.

To date, the Project has commissioned a study into extent and causes of food loss and waste at the level of households, hotels, restaurants and catering businesses and retailers, as well as an analysis of the national legislation and policies. The obtained information will inform the development by FAO of a set of recommendations on municipal waste management, comprising also a list of interventions aimed to prevent and reduce waste in the food supply chain. Municipal food waste reduction strategy and an action plan will be developed.

The second phase of the project will focus on implementing targeted activities of the food loss and waste reduction strategy at various levels.

The Project is implemented by FAO in Ukraine with the support of the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, which is managing a comprehensive program on FLW reduction in the region as part of the Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction - SAVE FOOD.


Reducing food waste at schools through optimized processes and collaboration

International Food Waste Coalition developed a Collaboration Guide for all actors of school food value chains from farms to fork in school canteens which would help to:

  1. Optimize school catering: measuring and reducing food waste in kitchens and canteens, as well as improving meals.
  2. Promote collaboration between school catering stakeholders: connecting stakeholders, so they can work together to develop a more efficient and sustainable school food value chains and thereby reduce food waste at schools.

The IFWC Collaboration Guide comprises 20 good practices to help canteen and kitchen staff, teaching staff, local producers, local authorities, school management and the parents of students to work better together to reduce food waste.

You can find more information about the Guide and the associated tools here.


Guide for the establishment of food recovery and redistribution systems


Food Loss and Waste Team of the Regional FAO Office for Europe and Central Asia compiled a practical guide for the establishment of effective and sustainable food recovery and redistribution systems.


Today, large quantities of foods still fit for human consumption are discarded by businesses in the food sector due to packaging or quality issues, excess supply, consumption habits, etc. In many countries, donation of excess food to charitable organizations by food business operators is limited because of legal and other hurdles, including tax barriers, liability and date marking issues. An enabling regulatory and policy environment plays a very important role in supporting and implementing food recovery and redistribution operations from food business operators to food insecure people.


This guide was prepared in response to the growing demand in the region to support the development of policies and legislation promoting food redistribution as part of the countries’ national strategies for food loss and waste reduction. To this end, the document offers guiding principles and recommendations to policy-makers regarding implementation of a favourable regulatory and legal framework that facilitates food recovery and redistribution activities in their countries.


The recommendations are supported by examples of policy measures and legislative adjustments introduced in different countries, in particular in the European Union.


The document was shared with the relevant ministerial divisions and other stakeholders in the FAO target countries in Europe and Central Asia for consideration, discussion and identification of the most appropriate models for a food recovery and redistribution system, based on their specific needs and context.



Guide for the establishment of food recovery and redistribution systems


Fighting food waste together


FAO’s SAVE FOOD Initiative in Europe and Central Asia, and the International Food Waste Coalition will partner with Too Good To Go’s Movement against food waste to raise awareness of the consequences of wasting food and encourage more children and young people to value resources and thereby protect our planet.

Consumer behaviour is arguably one of the leading, albeit underlying, drivers of food waste in developed regions such as Europe, and steps to shift social norms and consumer attitudes are important. The education of future generation of consumers plays a critical role in this.

In line with its goal to inspire 500 schools all across Europe and using its experience of promoting and managing International education programmes, Too Good To Go will begin connecting schools and authorities to the “Do Good: Save Food!” series of teaching manuals, developed the FAO and the International Food Waste Coalition to influence and change the behaviour of school-age children and, through them, their families. The programme will launch in 2020, initially with a focus on the UK, France and Belgium.

Mette Lykke, CEO Too Good To Go: “At Too Good To Go we are committed to inspiring change at all levels, from consumers and businesses to students and politicians. Making the next generation aware of how food waste impacts climate change, and equipping them with the tools they need to fight it, is vital in securing the future we want for them. The 'Do Good: Save Food' initiative takes an engaging approach to education on food waste, encouraging behavioural change, and advising on concrete changes in ways that will resonate with all age ranges.”

Robert van Otterdijk, Agro-Industry Officer, FAO in Europe and Central Asia; Leader of the regional SAVE FOOD Initiative commented: “In the medium- and high-income countries, the efforts to reduce food waste at the producer and retail levels would be undermined if consumer education is not in place. Thus, teaching children – the consumers of tomorrow – about actions they can take and good habits that they can develop to reduce food waste will bring about the behavior change required to stem the problem now and in the future. Together with the International Food Waste Coalition we developed the “Do Good: Save Food! Materials to educate and, most importantly, empower young people to act differently.

The education package was tested in 18 schools in France, Italy, Belgium and the United Kingdom for two academic years during 2015 – 2017.

Thomas Candeal from the International Food Waste Coalition, who led and coordinated a testing of the programme, said that based on the pilot phase results, an education campaign may prompt a minimum of 15 per cent reduction in food waste. He added that engaging other actors of the school food value chain - food producers and suppliers, school kitchens and canteens, school management and municipalities - would further enhance the impact.

Food donation convoy carries record load on World Food Day


16 October 2019, Budapest, Hungary – Trucks loaded with 50 tonnes of food donations crossed the central Budapest on the occasion of the World Food Day. While helping Hungarian families in need, this join action of FAO and the Hungarian Foodbank Association aimed to call attention to the issue of food waste and the importance of healthy diets.

Achieving Zero Hunger is not only about nourishing people, but also nurturing the planet. This year, World Food Day calls for action across sectors to make healthy and sustainable diets affordable and accessible to everyone,” said Vladimir Rakhmanin, FAO Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative. He added that “reducing food loss and waste would contribute to achieving other important sustainable development targets, especially the ones relating to food security and environmental sustainability.”

The President of the Foodbank Association, Balazs Cseh, said: “The Foodbank wants to stress that we can only tackle food waste with authorities, private sector and civil society working closely together.

Altogether, 20 Hungarian and international food processors and retail companies, all partners of the Association, joined the convoy. Throughout the year, these companies donate surplus produce to the Foodbank for distribution among food insecure people.

Moving forward on food loss and waste reduction

14 October 2019, Rome Italy - Reducing food loss and waste is widely seen as an important way to increase the efficiency of the food system, improve food security and nutrition, and contribute towards environmental sustainability. Growing attention to this issue is reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Many countries are already taking action to reduce food loss and waste, but the challenges ahead remain significant, and the efforts will only be effective if informed by a solid understanding of the problem.


This year’s the State of Food and Agriculture - one of FAO's major annual flagship publications offering a science-based assessments of important issues in the field of food and agriculture - focuses on food losses and waste. Importantly, the report provides new estimates of the world’s food loss, which indicates that globally – in terms of economic value – around 14 percent of food produced is lost from post-harvest up to the retail level.


The report also analyzes the critical loss points in specific supply chains, which is crucial to deciding on appropriate measures. Addressing policy makers, the document thus provides some guiding principles for designing more informed interventions and actions based on the objectives being pursued through food loss and waste reductions, be they in improved economic efficiency, food security and nutrition, or environmental sustainability.


Commenting on the launch of the State of Food and Agriculture, Qu Dongyu, FAO Director General, said: “This report examines the complex ways in which food loss and waste – and the measures taken to address it – affects food security and the environment. Among other things, it attempts to highlight precisely where there is a need for a more thorough understanding of the issues, both through more and better data and improved and expanded analysis. It is my hope that this report can make a contribution to the debate on how to address the problem of food loss and waste most effectively and in ways that actually make a difference in terms of improved food security and environmental sustainability, following the spirit of the 2030 Agenda”.


Hungarian NAIK presented findings on food loss and waste in processing sector


26 September 2019, Budapest, Hungary – Food loss and waste in a processing sector was at the focus of the conference organized by NAIK Research Institute of Agricultural Economics.

Robert van Otterdijk, Agro-Industry Officer at FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia and the Leader of the FAO-Messe Düsseldorf SAVE FOOD Initiative in the region, in his opening presentation, provided a global perspective on the issue. Van Otterdijk said that food loss during processing usually occurred due to an unintentional good damage or process interruptions. While over-production resulting from pressure to meet contractual requirements, in combination with cheap disposal alternatives lead to food waste.

Speaking about measures to reduce food loss and waste, Robert van Otterdijk noted: “In industrialized countries, solutions at the producer and industrial levels would only be marginal if consumer education and appropriate stock management at retail level is not in place. Moreover, government investment and policy support to facilitate market access for farmers and to provide an enabling environment for private sector investment are critical factors to significantly reduce food loss and waste.” 

Dr. Gyöngyi Kúrthy from NAIK Research Institute of Agricultural Economics presented results of the Institute’s research on causes, measurement and solutions to food loss and waste in a processing sector in Hungary. According to the research findings, food loss and waste is commonly perceived by companies as unavoidable during a technological process. At that, the research revealed that those processors who monitored and assessed the amount and value of losses were more cautious about the problem.

Among the obstacles to preventing and reducing food loss and waste, processors highlighted regulatory issues, market deficiency for by-products, lack of adequate chain-based cooperation between the actors and insufficient incentive to reduce losses. Surprisingly, more than half of the respondents considered mandatory requirements as an effective tool to tackling food loss and waste.

Considering the heavy reliance of food processors on policy-makers, Gyöngyi Kúrthy concluded that a significant reduction or improved utilisation of food loss and waste could be only achieved through a change of the regulation.

Children in Albania will learn how to save food

August 2019, Albania - The “Do Good: Save Food!” package of education materials, developed jointly by FAO and IFWC, will be translated into Albanian language and used during the school year 2019 – 2020 to educate children in 100 primary and middle schools on the importance of preventing and reducing food waste.

This extensive educational effort will be undertaken by the Food Bank Albania, with which FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia developed strong collaboration during the still ongoing implementation of the SAVE FOOD Programme on Food Loss and Waste Reduction in the region, including in the Republic of Albania.

Food Bank Albania is a committed player in the local food system, with its mandate extending beyond food recovery and redistribution to public outreach and advocacy for food waste prevention and reduction through changes in legislation and enhancing understanding of the causes and impact of food loss and waste.

As in other countries in the region, food loss and waste in Albania have major implications on food nutrition and security; the problem also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and thereby has the negative effects of climate change. FAO is now working with four southeastern European countries to develop strategies for food loss and waste reduction.

Stakeholders in North Macedonia trained to assess environmental footprint of food VC

19 - 23 July, 2019, North Macedonia - As part of the implementation of FAO’s SAVE FOOD Programme on Food Loss and Waste Reduction in Europe and Central Asia, FAO Regional Office trained NGO Ajde Makedonija in the Republic of North Macedonia on a proprietary Ex-Ante Carbon-balance Tool for Value Chains (EX-ACT VC) used to assess the economic and environmental performance of food value chains.


FAO Regional Office in Europe and Central Asia works together with NGO Ajde Makedonija on an analytical research on food loss and waste in the most important value chains in North Macedonia, for which the FAO Food Loss Analysis: Causes and Solutions method is used. The research will identify the main causes of food losses in the selected value chains and analyze the impact of solutions to reduce food losses on their technical and economic feasibility, food quality and safety requirements, social acceptability and environmental sustainability. The application of the EX-ACT VC tool will strengthen the research methodology, with a more comprehensive evaluation of environmental and socio-economic aspects of food losses.

The research results will directly support the formulation and implementation of a food loss and waste reduction programme in the North Macedonia.

About EX-ACT VC:

EX-ACT VC is a multi-agent based tool appraising input supply, production, transport, processing and using numerous indicators. Being multi-impact designed, it gives performance on GHG emissions, economic return of climate mitigation, climate resilience, socio-economic performances and other environment indicators, like water and, energy use. The tool can be used either for the current situation of the chain, or for an upgrading project scenario. More on EX-ACT VC

Community of Practice on Food Loss and Waste in Europe and Central Asia established

A dedicated Community of Practice on Food Loss and Waste Reduction in Europe and Central Asia has been established under the regional SAVE FOOD Initiative of FAO and Messe Düsseldorf, to better respond to the needs of their partners in Europe and Central Asia.

The Community of Practice will provide a platform for live discussions, exchange of knowledge and sharing of good practices and solutions to reducing food loss and waste. By bringing together public and private sector, Academia, research institutions, NGOs and civil society that are involved in fighting against food loss and waste in Europe and Central Asia, the Community of Practice will help its members identify and create synergies, and thus facilitate collaboration for better-coordinated and more effective interventions in the region.

Being a member of the Community of Practice, you will be able to participate in online consultations, get in touch with other practitioners, exchange relevant information and contribute to building regional community aimed at reducing food losses and waste. Public or private sector player, you are welcome to join the Community.


FAO develops Code of Conduct on Food Loss and Food Waste Prevention

29 July 2019 - Upon request of the FAO Committee on agriculture (COAG), FAO commenced, in collaboration with relevant actors, the development of Voluntary Codes of Conduct for the reduction of food loss and waste, which shall be presented for endorsement at the 27th session of COAG in October 2020. 


To this end, FAO launched global e-consultation, inviting different actors in food value chain and food system stakeholders to provide suggestions and recommendations on the outline and content of the Code of Conduct. [read more]


Government and private sector discussed a roadmap on food loss and waste reduction in Moldova

12 June 2019, Chisinau, Moldova - FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia organized a consultation workshop, where key government officials, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Regional Development and Environment, Ministry of Economy and Infrastructure, the National Food Safety Agency, representatives of the private sector and research, discussed and agreed on a national strategic approach to food loss and waste reduction in the country. The workshop was carried out under the FAO’s Regional Technical Cooperation Project "Strategies for Food Loss and Waste Reduction". [read more]

FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Turkey promote food waste on the agenda

4 April 2019, Ankara, Turkey – Representatives from private sector, civil society, academia and business associations gathered for second time in Ankara to discuss the causes of food waste and possible solutions to stem the issue, being a part of the “SAVE YOUR FOOD” campaign.


The workshop was organized by FAO in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of the Republic of Turkey in the context of the “SAVE YOUR FOOD” campaign, which was launched under the umbrella of FAO’s SAVE FOOD Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction. The campaign aims to increase awareness about the issue, manifest Turkey’s commitment to end food loss and waste and to reinstate the Technical Platform on the Measurement and Reduction of Food Loss and Waste. [read more

Roadmap for food loss and waste reduction validated in Armenia

27 February 2019, Yerevan - Some 40 participants gathered today to discuss and validate a strategic roadmap for food loss and waste prevention and reduction in Armenia that was developed on the basis of participants’ recommendations and the results of the field studies. 

The workshop is part of an FAO project facilitating reduction of food loss and waste in Armenia, Albania, Moldova and the Republic of North Macedonia. This ultimate goal should lessen Armenia’s contribution to climate change and the pressure on national food systems for increased production. [read more]

MEPs support FAO’s education programme on food waste prevention

21 February 2019, Brussels - Today, a roundtable was assembled under the auspices of the European Parliamentary Alliance on the Fight against Hunger and the European Parliament (EP) Intergroup on “Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development” to draw attention to political and moral responsibility to reduce food waste and to call for immediate action. The roundtable focused on the importance and the transformative potential of educating and engaging children – future consumers – in food waste prevention, thus, leading to behavioral change across generations.


In this regard, the education package “Do good: Save food!”, developed by FAO together with the International Food Waste Coalition (IFWC), was presented. [read more]

FAO called for a stronger action against food loss and waste at a conference in Moscow

Moscow, January 2019 - FAO Liaison Office with Russian Federation and Messe Düsseldorf – which together with FAO established SAVE FOOD Initiative in 2011 - organised a conference on “What Does it Cost to Save Food” in Moscow on 29 January 2019. 

Objective of the conference was to draw attention of the Russian government and private sector to the problems of food losses and waste (FLW) in the country and to share the world’s best examples of national strategies and programs to tackle the issue.

With Russia’s commitment to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the conference participants agreed that efforts should be enhanced at all levels to achieve the Target 12.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which calls on to halve food waste and reduce food loss by 2030, taking into account national capacities and realities. [read more]

FAO expert addresses students in Krasnodar and Moscow on Food Loss and Waste

Moscow, November 2018 - Robert van Otterdijk, Agro-industry Officer, FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, delivered two lectures this week on “Food Waste during Food Processing and the Re-Use of Food Rest Products” at two Russian universities. On 21 November, he addressed audiences at Kuban Agricultural University in the Southern Russian city of Krasnodar, and the following day he spoke at Timiryazev Agricultural Academy in Moscow. [read more]

FAO supports the reduction of food loss and waste in southeastern Europe

In Europe and Central Asia, and particularly in countries not part of the European Union, food loss and waste have major implications on food nutrition and security through inefficiencies in the food value chains. FAO is now working with four southeastern European countries to develop strategies for food loss and waste reduction. [read more]


FAO Experts Evaluate Food Loss and Waste in Georgia

Georgia, May 2017 - Exchanging experience and information on food loss and waste reduction in Georgia was the main objective of the stakeholders’ consultation workshop held on 24 May 2017 in Tbilisi. The workshop was organized by the European Union (EU) and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) within the European Neighbourhood Programme for Agriculture and Rural Development (ENPARD). The government representatives and ENPARD stakeholders attended the event. [read more]

FAO and the Retail Companies’ Association of Russia (ACORT) hold a roundtable on tackling FLW

Moscow, 31 January 2017 - A roundtable centered on addressing the challenge of food loss and waste reduction in different subsectors of the Russian economy was held at the UN House in Moscow. The event, co-organized by the FAO Liaison Office in Moscow (FAOLOR) and the Retail Companies’ Association of Russia (ACORT), gathered representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor), the Consumers, Fish and Dairy Unions, Foodbank "RUS" Charitable Foundation, METRO Cash & Carry, and other private enterprises [read more]

Official launch of SAVE FOOD Initiative in Russia

2017 - FAO Liaison Office with the Russian Federation has teamed up with Messe Dusseldorf Moscow to organize a special event at the “Upakovka-2017” Processing and Packaging Industry Trade Fair, member of the Interpack Alliance. On top of the Upakovka event, on 31 January 2017 the FAO Liaison Office, together with the Retail Companies’ Association of Russia (AKORT), is organizing a round-table on the FLW reduction agenda in Russia. The roundtable will convene representatives of private companies and their associations and will serve as a basis for the development of a white paper on the issue of FLW for Russian government agencies [read more]

How a Russian farmers' cooperative tries to save food

2016: LavkaLavka is a Moscow-based farmers' cooperative that was established in order to provide Russian farmers with an opportunity to sell their produce. In 2009 the company's founder Boris Akimov, a popular journalist and artist, started a blog where he posted stories about farms and farmers and offered his readers to buy their produce. The demand was so strong that he soon opened an online store. Today LavkaLavka unites more than 200 farms throughout Russia. The cooperative has opened 5 retail stores in Moscow, a big farmers' market, an online store, two farmers’ cafes and two farmers’ restaurants [read more]

FAO Regional Conference for Europe (ERC) Side Event

Regional Conference for Europe (ERC) Side Event

Antalya, Turkey, 4 - 6 May, 2016 - CFS held two plenary sessions since the last Regional Conferences met. In line with its role in global policy convergence CFS endorsed the Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFS-RAI) and the Framework for Action for Food Security and Nutrition in Protracted Crises (CFS-FFA). Policy recommendations were made on the basis of the three reports produced by the High-Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE): Food Losses and Waste in the Context of Sustainable Food Systems; Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture for Food Security and Nutrition; and Water for Food Security and Nutrition. The Committee organized a High-Level Forum on Connecting Smallholders to Markets. Its outcomes were presented to the CFS Plenary together with identified areas to be further addressed by CFS.

29th Regional Conference for Europe

2014: paper “Food Losses and Waste in Europe and Central Asia” discussed at the Ministerial Roundtable during the 29th Regional Conference for Europe

Campaign on Preventing Bread Waste in Turkey

2013 - in January 2013 the Turkish Grain Board and the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock together with relevant stakeholders launched the Campaign on Preventing Bread Waste.
Source: Turkish Grain Board and FAO, 2014

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