Ten interventions for speeding up global approach to food losses and waste

Published on
November 13, 2019

During the international Reduction of Food Loss and Waste conference in Vatican City the World Resources Institute launched The report The Reducing Food Loss and Waste: Ten Interventions to Scale Impact. Its authors, which include researchers from Wageningen University & Research (WUR), call on governments and companies to increase the impact and speed of sector-specific activities in order to achieve SDG 12.3 by 2030.

The United Nations established SDG 12.3 to stimulate the world to halve the global food waste per capita on a retail and consumer level, and to reduce food losses in production and supply chains, including harvest losses, by 2030. Some 1.3 billion tonnes of food with an estimated value of 940 billion US dollars is currently lost in the global food chain, while one in nine people are malnourished. Food losses and waste are responsible for 8% of the greenhouse gas emissions that are heating up the planet. Halving food loss and waste is essential to increase food security and reduce emissions, a huge challenge according to the authors of the report and one that requires mass action to tackle.

Chain-wide approach

“The ten interventions from the new report address food losses and waste throughout the supply chain,” says Toine Timmermans, expert in food waste at Wageningen University & Research and co-author of the report. “We are currently at a pivotal point. Various actions are already being taken by governments and companies, but the pace will need to be accelerated and efforts broadened geographically in order to realise SDG 12.3.” The report is an intrinsic substantiation of the Reducing Food Loss and Waste: Setting a Global Action Agenda report published in August.

Interventions against food loss and waste

The ten interventions for scaling up range from developing national strategies for reducing food losses and waste and shifting social standards for consumers in order to make food waste unacceptable to increasing the financing for technologies and programmes for food losses and waste reduction. The report describes the interventions, why they are needed and what the next steps would be to get them off the ground in detail.

From inspiration to action

“This report is intended to inspire leaders in governments, companies, NGOs and research institutes to set to work with one or more of these interventions via intersectoral cooperation,” says Timmermans. “It is not an implementation plan, but provides a solid foundation for taking the ten interventions to the next level.” Various researchers from Wageningen Food & Biobased Research co-authored the report, focusing on issues such as monitoring, cooperation, post-harvest solutions and greenhouse gas impact.


The report was drawn up by the World Resources Institute with the aid of The Rockefeller Foundation and in collaboration with experts in the field of food loss and waste from Iowa State University, University of Maryland, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).