Plataforma de Acciones en Alimentación Urbana

Global food losses and food waste

Author: Jenny Gustavsson, Christel Cederberg, Ulf Sonesson, Robert van Otterdijk, Alexandre Meybeck
Publisher:Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

The study highlights the losses occurring along the entire food chain, and makes assessments of their magnitude. Further, it identifies causes of food losses and possible ways of preventing them. The results of the study suggest that roughly one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally, which amounts to about 1.3 billion tons per year. This inevitably also means that huge amounts of the resources used in food production are used in vain, and that the greenhouse gas emissions caused by production of food that gets lost or wasted are also emissions in vain. Food is lost or wasted throughout the supply chain, from initial agricultural production down to final household consumption. In medium- and high-income countries food is to a significant extent wasted at the consumption stage, meaning that it is discarded even if it is still suitable for human consumption. Significant losses also occur early in the food supply chains in the industrialized regions. In low-income countries food is lost mostly during the early and middle stages of the food supply chain; much less food is wasted at the consumer level.

Organization: UN agency
Region: Global coverage
Areas of focus: Food loss and waste
Tags: Awareness raising, Food security and nutrition, Waste prevention