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

Food waste reduction

Regions and countries across the world have launched activities to reduce and measure food waste. Individuals can also play a role. 

For more tips on how to reduce your household food waste click HERE.

Regional level

Near East and North Africa

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

Europe and Central Asia

The 2014 FAO report on FLW Reduction in Europe and Central Asia for Improved Food Security and Agri-food Chain Efficiency complements the FLW reports for Turkey, Ukraine, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan.

The European Commission has been working together with key players from public and private sectors, through the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste, established in 2016, in order to support members in defining measures needed to prevent food waste, sharing best practice and evaluating progress made over time. Since the adoption of the Circular Economy Action Plan in 2015, the Commission has introduced EU-wide monitoring of food waste levels according to a common EU measurement methodology, adopted EU guidelines on food donation as well as guidelines for the feed use of food no longer intended for human consumption, and carried out work related to date marking and food waste. In 2019, the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste developed key recommendations for action in food waste prevention to mobilise all actors of the food value chain to take and scale-up action. Reducing food loss and waste is an integral part of the EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy, adopted in May 2020, for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system, which proposes to set legally binding targets to reduce food waste across the EU by 2023 and to revise EU rules on date marking in order to prevent food waste linked to misunderstanding and/or misuse of these dates, by 2022. For reference and more information you can access the Food Waste website which includes access to the EU Food Loss and Waste Prevention Hub: a "one-stop-shop" for stakeholders active in the area of food loss and waste prevention and reduction.

Latin America and the Caribbean

On 27 January 2016 in Quito, on the occasion of the Fourth Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the region’s leaders reaffirmed their commitment to prioritize the consolidation and implementation of the CELAC Plan for Food Security, Nutrition and Hunger Eradication and reiterated their request that FAO support the process. This includes also the creation of the Regional Alliance for Reducing Food Waste and Losses (#SinDesperdicio Progress Report March 2023).

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

Asia and the Pacific

Asia and the Pacific launched Zero Hunger Challenges. In accordance with the SAVE FOOD Regional Joint Communiqué, Thailand established the national network hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives and in collaboration with FAO. The Governments of Indonesia and Malaysia address food waste with FAO Technical Co-operation Programme support.

Sub-Saharan Africa

The 2014 Food and Nutrition Security Workshop was enabled by the World Future Council (WFC), the City of Windhoek (Namibia), the City of Belo Horizonte (Brazil) and FAO. It addressed food waste prevention and reduction as well as urban and peri-urban agriculture in Namibia and launched the Windhoek Declaration on Food and Nutrition Security.


A national policy on food losses and food waste, coordinated by the Ministry of Agroindustry, was launched in 2015.


In 2014, the Chinese Government took several steps to reduce food loss and waste. The Central Committee and State Council issued a joint circular on: Practicing strict economy and fighting against waste (in Chinese). The State Administration of Grain, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine issued a notice on Saving food and reducing food losses among foodstuffs and oil-processing industries (in Chinese).


In January 2013 the Turkish Grain Board and the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, together with relevant stakeholders along the supply chains, launched the Campaign for Preventing Bread Waste.

In May 2020, the SAVE YOUR FOOD Campaign was launched in Turkey; in July 2020 the Government released the National Strategy and Action Plan on the Prevention and Reduction of Food Loss and Waste, which was developed in collaboration with FAO and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry of Turkey. The Campaign takes into consideration the reviews and recommendations of over 100 related stakeholders, ranging from the private sector to NGOs and academia to interest groups.

United States of America

In September 2015 the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a national goal to reduce food waste by 50 percent by 2030.

As part of the Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative, EPA, USDA, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its FY2019–2020 Federal Interagency Strategy in April 2019, which identified six priority areas the agencies will focus their efforts to reduce food loss and waste in the United States of America. In May 2020, the Federal Interagency Strategy was updated with a list of contributing efforts for each of the strategy’s six priority action areas:

Priority Area 1: Enhance interagency coordination

Priority Area 2: Increase consumer education and outreach efforts

Priority Area 3: Improve coordination and guidance on food loss and waste measurement

Priority Area 4: Clarify and communicate information on food safety, food date labels, and food donations

Priority Area 5: Collaborate with private industry to reduce food loss and waste across the supply chain

Priority Area 6: Encourage food waste reduction by federal agencies in their respective facilities

The agencies also launched partnerships with organizations at the forefront of food loss and waste reduction efforts. In April 2019, the agencies signed an agreement with ReFED, a network of the nation’s leading business, nonprofit, foundation, and government leaders committed to reducing food waste.

In October 2019, another partnership with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, formalized collaboration on education and outreach efforts with three major sectors in the supply chain: food manufacturing, retail, and restaurant and food service.



Urban Food Policy Pact

On 15 October 2015, 116 cities across the world signed the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon presented the Pact to the United Nations on 16 October, World Food Day. The Pact supports policy coherence and was launched together with its Action Plan and Selected Good Practices.

Recommended actions for food waste reduction and measurement

  • Convene food system actors to assess and monitor food loss and waste reduction at all stages of the city region food supply chain, (including production, processing, packaging, safe food preparation, presentation and handling, re-use and recycling); ensure holistic planning and design, transparency, accountability and policy integration.
  • Raise awareness of food loss and waste through targeted events and campaigns; identify focal points such as educational institutions, community markets, company shops and other solidarity or circular economy initiatives.
  • Collaborate with the private sector along with research, educational and community-based organizations to develop and review, as appropriate, municipal policies and regulations (e.g. processes, cosmetic and grading standards, expiration dates, etc.) to prevent waste or safely recover food and packaging using a “food use-not-waste” hierarchy.
  • Save food by facilitating recovery and redistribution for human consumption of safe and nutritious foods, if applicable, that are at risk of being lost, discarded or wasted from production, manufacturing, retail, catering, wholesale and hospitality.

    Youth and local authorities

    The first European Forum of Young and Local Authorities against food waste and for global Right to Food was held in Milan (Italy), from 21 to 22 October 2015. The Forum launched: Don’t waste our future charter 2015 – A joint European manifesto of young people and local authorities to promote food waste reduction and the global right to food.

    Recovery and redistribution of safe and nutritious food for human consumption

    Recovery of safe and nutritious food for human consumption is to receive, with or without payment, food (processed, semi-processed or raw), which would otherwise be discarded or wasted from the agricultural, livestock, forestry and fisheries supply chains of the food system. Redistribution of safe and nutritious food for human consumption is to store or process and then distribute the received food pursuant to appropriate safety, quality and regulatory frameworks directly or through intermediaries, and with or without payment, to those having access to it for food intake (more here).

    Current forms of recovery and redistribution of safe and nutritious food involve a variety of stakeholders in a diverse mix of initiatives, such as: gleaning networks, food banks (warehouse, direct service, virtual, mixed form), social supermarkets and community shops, food pantries, soup kitchens and community/charitable programmes, shelters, mixed form of social protection programmes that provide food, directly or indirectly, among other services.

    Countries around the world have initiated recovery and redistribution of safe and nutritious food for human consumption by developing guidance on the implementation of such actions.


    Food Loss and Waste
    FAO Goodwill Ambassador Diarmuid Gavin interviews Iseult Ward, Co-founder, FoodCloud, Ireland

    FAO National Goodwill Ambassador for Ireland Diarmuid Gavin interviews Iseult Ward, Co-founder, Food Cloud, Ireland. Food Cloud is a non-profit social enterprise headquartered in Ireland that has established solutions for food redistribution which connects food businesses with local producers. These efforts help to reduce both food loss and food waste.

    Recovery and redistribution of safe and nutritious food for human consumption


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