Food loss and waste are a serious challenge for the current global food system, revealing asymmetries, paradoxes and inequalities.
In 2011, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimated that 1/3 of the world’s food was lost or wasted every year. In the EU, the FUSION project estimated that food waste accounts for 88 million tonnes annually, with a value of roughly 143 billion euros.
But food waste is not just an economic or ethical issue; it also impacts the environment. According to the UNEP Food Waste Index 2021, it generates 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, thus contributing to climate change.
For this reason, the United Nations included “halving per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer level and reducing food losses along production and supply chains by 2030” under its Sustainable Development Goal 12.3. Food waste is a challenging topic for the public procurement and catering sector, especially in countries that have not yet established a proper food waste policy or measurement tools.
The proposed tools include the development of a food waste strategy, procurement criteria to reduce food waste, and different ways to measure its amount as a starting point and to monitor the development. Moreover, several of the tools provide practical advice for kitchen professionals and other stakeholders on how to raise awareness on food waste and most importantly, how to prevent food waste.