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

Food loss reduction

The causes of food losses and waste in low-income countries are mainly connected to financial, managerial and technical limitations in harvesting techniques; storage and cooling facilities operating in difficult climatic conditions; infrastructure; packaging and marketing systems. Given that many smallholder farmers in developing countries live on the margins of food insecurity, reduced food losses would have an immediate and significant positive impact on their livelihoods.

Food supply chains in developing countries need strengthening by, inter alia, encouraging small-scale farmers to organize, diversify and upscale their production and marketing. Both the public and private sectors have a role to play in investing in infrastructure, transportation, and food and packaging industries.

Source: FAO, 2011. Global food losses and food waste: extent, causes and prevention

Regional level

At the regional level, countries have committed themselves to reducing food loss. Major milestones include:

African Union – Malabo declaration

The twenty-second Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) opened on the 30 January 2014: 2014 Year of Agriculture and Food Security in Africa, marking tenth anniversary of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).

The theme of the 2014 assembly Concept Note was: Transforming Africa’s agriculture for shared prosperity and improved livelihoods, through harnessing opportunities for inclusive growth and sustainable development.

In commemoration of the year, as part of sustaining the CAADP momentum, the African Union Commission (AUC) carried out broad based consultations with key stakeholders, including AU Member States, producers, women and youth organizations, and development and technical partners across the continent to review, strategize and set goals, actions and targets for the next decade to 2025.

Latin America and Caribbean Strategy

In September 2015 FAO facilitated the first regional dialogue on food losses and waste for Latin America and the Caribbean. The regional dialogue brought together FLW working groups, national committees on food security and hunger eradication, technicians, researchers, civil society, academia, food industry and other food system actors to move towards prevention and reduction at the national and regional level.

Near East and North Africa Strategy

Food loss and waste (FLW) in the Near East and North Africa (NENA) Region are high and contribute to reduced availability of food, aggravated water scarcity, adverse environmental impacts and increased food imports, in an already highly import-dependent region. The NENA Regional Strategic Framework for reducing FLW components is based on the region’s socioeconomic and natural resources context.

 

Country level selected interventions

Activities have been carried out over several years in many countries worldwide, where different examples of solutions to reduce food loss have been identified.

A few main ongoing interventions carried out by governments, international organizations and development institutions have been selected for your consultation.

In the framework of the Chinese Government’s commitment towards food loss reduction, the Ministry of Agriculture issued a notice in July 2014 on food loss reduction (Chinese). Subsequently, in August, the State Administration of Grain issued a notice on Saving food and reducing food losses and waste (Chinese).

FAO, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the World Food Programme (WFP) have launched a joint project that includes activities in Burkina Faso, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda: Mainstreaming food loss reduction initiatives for smallholders in food deficit areas (leaflet).

Other relevant information can be accessed at the links below:

 

Mapping post-harvest management (PHM) interventions

An interactive map of post-harvest management (PHM) activities and initiatives worldwide is available here.

Food Loss Related Resources
News
#123 Food Loss and Waste Pledge for Climate Action
17/11/2022

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is pleased to launch a call for governments, companies, institutions and individuals to pledge to align their action agendas to halve food waste by 2030 and reduce food losses by at least 25 percent, toward acceleratin...

Hybrid Event, Sharm El-Sheikh (Egypt)

Event
A Climate Imperative: Getting Countries and Businesses Committed to FLW Reduction
16/11/2022

Commitments are required from governments and the private sector to set targets and achieve global reduction of food loss and waste. The event included a diverse set of pledges and highlights the accomplishments of governments, businesses and financial institutions.