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Food loss and waste

Globally, around 14 percent of food produced is lost between harvest and retail. Significant quantities are also wasted in retail and at the consumption level. Food loss and waste amount to major loss of resources, including water, land, energy, labour and capital and leads to greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change.

In order to combat the scourge of food loss and waste, FAO launched the Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction, also known as ‘SAVE FOOD’ in conjunction with trade fair organizers Messe Düsseldorf, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). SAVE FOOD coordinates efforts on food loss and waste reduction and has four main pillars; awareness raising on food loss and waste, partnership and coalition building and facilitation, policy and strategy development and supporting investment programmes and projects. SAVE FOOD also facilitates a Community of Practice on Food Loss Reduction – a web-based platform that acts as a global convener and integrator of knowledge related to post-harvest loss (PHL) reduction.

Programmes such as FAO’s Food Waste Footprint (FWF) project, demonstrates that reducing food wastage is a logical priority to establish more sustainable patterns of production and consumption. Investments in food wastage reduction can achieve economic, environmental and social dividends, while contributing to food security and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For more information visit