Social Protection for Fisheries and Aquaculture (SocPro4Fish)

SocPro4Fish Updates| Food Loss and Waste



Synergizing social protection and public procurement in fisheries 

Reducing Food Loss and Waste, improving food security and reducing poverty 

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), between 691 and 783 million people faced hunger in 2022, an increase of about 122 million since 2019 (FAO, 2023). At the same time, it has been estimated that 13 percent of the world's food is lost along the supply chain, meaning from post-harvest to retail; (FAO, 2022) and 17 percent of food is wasted in households, food services and retail (UNEP, 2021). In the case of fisheries, around 35 percent of fish is either lost or wasted globally every year (FAO, 2020).  

Public procurement plays a crucial role in the management of food, particularly perishable food such as fruit, vegetables, meat and fish. It is an effective tool for reducing food waste, especially when combined with social protection programmes. By optimising local procurement and strengthening the social and inclusive aspects of public food procurement, especially through programmes such as school feeding, governments can use these markets as important levers to support recovery during and after crises. This approach helps meet basic needs, encourages productive investment and promotes sustainable resource management practices. It also stimulates the development of value chains in the agrifood sector and enables the utilization of products that would otherwise be wasted. School feeding programmes are therefore ideal platforms for the redistribution of food that meets national safety standards.

It is essential to promote cooperation between public bodies responsible for social, agricultural, nutritional and health issues, including those involved in public procurement, recovery, and redistribution of food. To this end, we must build on existing programmes that have proven successful, develop them further to better reach those in need, establish mechanisms to streamline food donations and re-allocation into other programs or markets, and prioritizes nutrition. Building inclusive and sustainable food systems requires coherent cross-sectoral policies, programmes and collaboration tools. 

Human Story 

Reducing losses from fish harvests changes the work and future of Tanzania’s women fish processors 

Immerse yourself in the lives of women like Suzana in the Tanzanian fishing industry and their fight against food loss and waste. Discover the FAO-supported FISH4ACP program that empowers women in fish processing, promotes sustainable practices and creates thriving communities on Lake Tanganyika. READ FAO STORY. 


Fish loss assessment methods 

This course presents the set of methods available for assessing losses in the fish value chain. It provides practical guidance and assistance for conducting fish loss assessment, including both qualitative and quantitative methods, and explains when they can be used and how to use them to collect reliable data, be it for planning an intervention to reduce losses in a particular area, or at country level.  

ACCESS TO THE COURSE. Access to the course 


Public food procurement for sustainable food systems and healthy diets. 2021 

A two-volume publication produced jointly by FAO, Bioversity Alliance International, CIAT and UFRGS. This publication explores the transformative potential of public food procurement initiatives, ranging from school feeding programs to food purchases by public institutions. It offers comprehensive analysis, practical ideas and global case studies that highlight the role of these initiatives in promoting sustainable food systems, healthier diets and socio-economic development. Full Report 

UNEP Food Waste Index Report. 2021 

The Food Waste Index Report aims to support the goals of SDG 12.3. It does so by presenting the most comprehensive food waste data collection, analysis, and modelling to date, generating a new estimate of global food waste; and publishing a methodology for countries to measure food waste, at household, food service and retail level, to track national progress towards 2030 and to report on SDG 12.3. Full Report 


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

The International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste (IDAFLW) made a clear call to action for public and private entities to take action to reduce food loss and waste (FLW) toward transforming agrifood systems to contribute to the achievement of the 2030 agenda. Website 

Food Loss and Waste in Fish Value Chains 

Food loss and food waste (FLW) occurs at all levels of activities in the fisheries and aquaculture value chain, and for many different reasons. It is important to understand what causes loss and to identify pathways to reduce FLW. Website