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SAVE FOOD: Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction

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This brief highlights the environmental impacts of food loss and waste, the collective efforts to reduce food loss and waste and presents key considerations and recommendations.

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Reducing loss and waste throughout the food supply chain should be considered an effective solution to reduce the environmental impacts of agriculture, to improve the income and livelihood of the chain actors and to improve food and nutrition security for low-income consumers. An increasing urban population, changing food consumption pattern and trade globalization have rendered food supply chains extremely complex and lengthy, which calls for a change of mind-set from the traditional way of addressing the causes of food loss at each stage of the food supply chain to an integrated approach. Investing in efficient, low-cost and sustainable processing technologies, adequate storage and packaging solutions, road infrastructure and market linkages as well as providing training and education to chain actors, including consumers, are among the tried and proven interventions which increase the efficiency of the chain and therefore lead to a reduction in food loss and waste.

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The Community of Practice (CoP) on food loss reduction acts as a global convener integrating knowledge related to reducing post-harvest losses. The CoP provides a platform to facilitate linking and sharing of information among stakeholders, relevant networks, projects and programmes. Background information found on the CoP website includes relevant news, events, online discussions, resources and links to partners. The CoP website also provides a dynamic platform that facilitates the sharing and coordination of information. The CoP is part of a worldwide effort to mobilise stakeholders and help reduce food losses and waste. Once registered members can take part in the SAVE FOOD global initiative on food loss and waste.

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The report begins by reviewing the evidence to date focussing on the magnitude and geographical distribution of food losses. In the next sections the role of energy in post-harvest losses is discussed. Thereafter, the main entry points within the food value chain where lack of access to energy is the dominant factor influencing food losses is discussed. This report outlines low cost and off-grid post-harvest cooling and processing technologies that can be made available in developing countries. These household to community scale evaporative cooling systems, solar assisted cooling systems and as well as solar drying systems that can help increase shelf life. Additionally, through case studies, focus is laid on assessing the technical and economic feasibility of cooling and processing technologies. Finally, recommendations are made that could be incorporated to further develop food loss strategies that can classify food value chains based on their energy demand. This will enable policy makers to quickly understand the main technologies for food preservation and processing that can be introduced based on the available energy sources in a given region.

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Potential Impacts on Sub-Saharan Africa of Reducing Food Loss and Waste in the European Union

A focus on food prices and price transmission effects.
Jointly drafted by FAO and LEI Wageningen UR, this paper uses scenario analyses to investigate how reductions in food loss and waste (FLW) in the European Union (EU) could influence prices in sub-Saharan Africa [...]

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Global initiative on food loss and waste reduction

Food losses refer to the decrease in edible food mass available for human consumption throughout the different segments of the supply chain [...]

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