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

Food waste

refers to the decrease in the quantity or quality of food resulting from decisions and actions by retailers, food service providers and consumers.  Food is wasted in many ways:

  • Fresh produce that deviates from what is considered optimal, for example in terms of shape, size and color, is often removed from the supply chain during sorting operations.
  • Foods that are close to, at or beyond the “best-before” date are often discarded by retailers and consumers.
  • Large quantities of wholesome edible food are often unused or left over and discarded from household kitchens and eating establishments.

Less food loss and waste would lead to more efficient land use and better water resource management with positive impacts on climate change and livelihoods.

Committee on World Food Security (CFS)

CFS called on all public, private and civil society actors to create an enabling environment based on the hierarchy of “food use-not-loss-or-waste especially for monitoring and measurement targets.

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

One major barrier of resolving food loss and waste is the lack of understanding of the magnitude of the problem. IFPRI is conducting state-of-the-art research to measure food loss and waste at all stages -- from production and post-production to processing, distribution and consumption -- at the local, regional and global level. It assists practitioners and researchers to identify the origin and cost of food waste and loss.  IFPRI’s Policies, Institutions and Markets (PIM) CGIAR Research Program (includes an initiative on FLW under the Value Chain Flagship).