SAVE FOOD: Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction

Promotion of urban food security and nutrition through redistribution of food at risk of loss or waste

05 Jan 2016

Opportunities for public-private-civil society collaboration

Expert Panel Discussion
15 January 2016
CityCube Berlin

Annually, about one third of the food produced world-wide for human consumption, approximately 1.3 billion tons, is lost or wasted along the supply chains. 22% and 12% of food waste occur at consumer and distribution level1. Micronutrient losses for human consumption due to food loss and waste (FLW) are significant. Based on a recent FAO study, world-wide micro-nutrient loss for human consumption due to food loss and waste along the food supply chains are alarmingly high, especially during agricultural production, post-harvest and consumption (FAO, 2015).

Where FLW cannot be prevented at source, recovery and redistribution of safe and nutritious food for human consumption (RR)2 could contribute to food security and nutrition (FSN), option indicated also by Committee on World Food Security3.

In 2015 FAO provided a voluntary framework definition of RR: “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.”

World-wide various community level initiatives are implemented along supply chains from primary production to end consumer level: e.g., gleaning networks, food banks and food pantries, as well as social supermarkets.

The dual approach of reducing FLW at source while implementing, monitoring and evaluating RR presents challenges and opportunities for the FSN in our cities. It warrants empirical country data to assess the FLW scale in order to inform policy actions that sustainably minimize FLW while providing required RR tools for operators and ensure monitoring, evaluation and appropriate accountability.  

The panel will enable dialogue and focused exchange of knowledge with policy makers, civil society, private-sector and consumers. The following questions will guide the discussions:

1. What methodologies are available to assess the FLW impact on human nutrition?

2. What are the potential opportunities and challenges to implement, monitor, and evaluate RR for the public- and private-sector as well as civil society?

3. How to ensure that food channelled through RR is safe and nutritious for human consumption and what socio-economic as well as environmental impacts can we identify?