Before the products even arrive in store there is already almost $400 billion lost in food waste worldwide. This was shown by research by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) from the United Nations. Every year no less than 14% of all food is lost, the report shows. Furthermore, it’s made clear that North America, Europe and Asia in particular waste the largest amounts of food.
Although improvement in some parts of the infrastructure and improvement of storage in colling installations can prevent a lot, more information is still required from the supply chains. This is a warning that the researchers give in the report.
“In recent times food waste has received greater attention,” explains Agnieszka de Sousa, food specialist at press agency Bloomberg. “This is due to its contribution to the emissions of greenhouse gases. Moreover, there is the growing awareness that more than 820 million people are estimated to starve every day.”
“The world leaders have promised to halve worldwide food waste and to reduce the losses in food production by the end of the next decade. In addition, businesses will also try to improve efficiency within the food industry.”
“Food waste causes an unnecessary pressure on the environment and the natural resources that are used to produce food and drink,” says Qu Dongyu, Managing Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization. “These losses are related to both the wasting of soil and water, but additionally the production also contributes to the pollution of the environment. Moreover it causes unnecessary emissions of greenhouse gases.”
The report does however also show that consumers waste huge amounts of food. “No less than 37% of the animal products and possibly a fifth of the production of fruit and vegetables risks being lost due to waste after purchase.”
“In richer countries, food waste is especially linked to shelf-life problems and inconsistent planning by the consumer. Poorer countries on the other hand, must especially take into account adverse climate conditions and infrastructure problems.”
“The reduction of the worldwide food waste presents an important challenge,” as the report states. “Investing in cooling installations can help to tackle the problem, just like the expansion of efficient logistics. There is however more information necessary to take effective action.”