Tackling food loss and waste - A triple win opportunity - FAO, UNEP

Tackling food loss and waste: A triple win opportunity – FAO, UNEP

FAO and UNEP issue call for action on International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and waste.

Tackling the scourge of food loss and waste represents a triple win opportunity – for the climate, for food security, as well as for the sustainability of our agrifood systems – and cannot be put on the backburner at a time of rising global hunger and surging food prices.

The third International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste was marked today by a call to action at a global virtual event in Rome organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

According to FAO’s latest report on The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI), the number of people affected by hunger rose to as much as 828 million in 2021, an increase of about 46 million since 2020 and 150 million since 2019.  In all, an estimated 3.1 billion people do not have access to a healthy diet.

Meanwhile, according to FAO’s State of Food and Agriculture (2019) report, around 14 percent of the world’s food (valued at $400 billion per year) continues to be lost after it is harvested and before it reaches the shops; while UNEP’s Food Waste Index Report shows that a further 17 percent of our food ends up being wasted in retail and by consumers, particularly in households. According to FAO estimates, the food that is lost and wasted could feed 1.26 billion hungry people every year.

Food loss and waste (FLW) also account for 8-10 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) – contributing to an unstable climate and extreme weather events such as droughts and flooding. These changes negatively impact crop yields, potentially reduce the nutritional quality of crops and cause supply chain disruptions.

Prioritizing the reduction of food loss and waste is therefore critical for the transition to sustainable agrifood systems that improve the efficient use of natural resources, lessen their impact on the planet and ensure food security and nutrition.

Read full original article Tackling food loss and waste: A triple win opportunity – FAO, UNEP at unep.org

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