How much of the worlds food is wasted?

Food waste in the world 2020

In developing countries, food losses and food waste occur mainly in the early stages of the food value chain and can be caused by technical, financial and management constraints in both harvesting techniques and storage and refrigeration facilities. Strengthening the supply chain through direct support of farmers and investors in infrastructure, transport, as well as an expansion of the food and packaging industry can help reduce the amount of food that is lost or wasted.

The European Parliament’s Environment Committee adopted a report in 2017 highlighting that food loss also means wasted water, soil, working hours, energy and other valuable and often limited resources.

The former Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment presented at the meeting of the VII Follow-up Commission of the “More Food, Less Waste” Strategy, held in the framework of Madrid Fusion 2016, the first Food Waste Quantification Panel, which allows the quantification of unprocessed food that is discarded due to spoilage or expiration and cooked food or food in recipes that is disposed of due to leftovers or spoilage.

Food waste pdf

We might think that these data are ironic, when almost a quarter of all the meat consumed in the world comes from the region, or when we consider that Brazil is the fourth country that produces the most food globally, after the United States, China and India.

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Food losses and waste do not occur only at one stage of the chain, but successively at different points along the chain. This phenomenon occurs in production, where approximately 28 percent is lost; in handling and storage, 21 percent; and in distribution, another 17 percent. At the consumer level (households, restaurants and hotels), the amount of wasted food rises to 28 percent.

The causes of this phenomenon are of all kinds. For example, vegetables and fruits that do not meet the aesthetic standards of retailers; frozen foods that are not properly handled in the cold chain; pests that affect crops, or simply poor labeling are some of the reasons that can trigger unnecessary waste of food fit for human consumption. The waste of edible products generated in supermarkets and restaurants alone could feed almost 85% of Latin Americans who are currently suffering from hunger.

Food waste

The report Sent to the Trash: Global Food Loss on Farms, is the first estimate of total food losses on producing farms since 2011. When this estimate is combined with updated data on loss in supply chains and waste in retail and consumption, we have a clearer picture of the scale of food loss and waste that demonstrates for the first time how imperative it is that this stage is no longer overlooked in efforts to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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By analyzing the factors that contribute to food waste, the report disproves that food loss on farms is a problem that occurs in regions with lower levels of industrialization. The study shows that per capita losses at the production stage are generally higher in industrialized regions.

For example, high- and middle-income countries in Europe, North America and industrialized Asia contribute 58% of global crop waste. This is despite having greater agricultural mechanization and only 37% of the world’s population.

How much food is wasted in the world per year

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), an intergovernmental organization aimed at supporting cooperation among the three North American trading partners on environmental issues, launched the Practical Guide to Quantifying Food Loss and Waste.

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“If we can help a company measure food waste, we can help them understand the true cost of this waste and the financial and environmental benefits of prevention,” Chavez added.

parts of the country, which is one of the biggest opportunities to prevent waste. Combined with inadequate storage and transportation infrastructure, this phenomenon leads to high levels of loss during distribution.

These facilities may have less cold storage infrastructure than their larger counterparts, but regular buying and selling cycles prevent this from generating significant amounts of loss.

An expert group formed by the CEC to measure food waste in North America sponsored a study to quantify food loss and waste in the restaurant industry.