This project explores the potential of establishing a national Taskforce against Food Loss and Waste (FLW) in India. Such a Taskforce can play a pivotal role to reduce FLW and deliver to SDG 12.3, reducing food loss and waste by half in 2030.
40% of India’s produced food is lost or wasted
Food security is a prevailing issue in India. Over 194 million Indians are undernourished and about 7 million children died because of hunger or malnutrition. In contrast, India is producing sufficient food to feed everyone, but over 40% of the food produced is lost or wasted along the supply chain or at consumer level. The total value is estimated to be around € 6,- billion per year. The UN sustainable development goal 12.3 specifically focuses on this and the following aim ‘By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses’.
India has much potential to reduce its losses and waste
Reducing food losses and waste, primarily through prevention, has enormous potential for ensuring sustainable food and nutrition security, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lessening environmental impacts by improved resource use efficiency. Nonetheless, reducing food losses and waste all along the agri-food value chain is not straightforward, as the problem is a result of manifold and highly interlinked causes. Much is known about the causes and many innovative solutions are already available.
The Netherlands is a front-runner in effectively reducing food losses and waste and brings to India plenty of experience in this field
Recently the World Resource Institute published two reports on the reduction of food loss and waste; setting a global action agenda and ten interventions to scale impact . Both reports call on governments, companies, farmers, consumers and other involved institutes to ‘Develop national strategies for reducing food loss and waste’ and ‘create national public-private partnerships to tackle food loss and waste’. The report builds upon the results, experiences and tools developed within REFRESH (Resource Efficient Food and Drink for the Entire Supply Chain) which was Wageningen Research.
Although there are Initiatives around reducing food loss and waste in India like ShareFood and OperationGreens, a national strategy with strong public private partnerships could accelerate the food waste fight and scale up current & future initiatives to maximise their impact. This project aims to contribute to the setting up a Taskforce with the goal to reduce food loss and waste in India.
Globally, the Netherlands is a front-runner is effectively reducing food losses and waste on national level, with long running efforts on the Food waste Monitor and the in 2018 founded Food Waste United Foundation, a Dutch national taskforce aiming to deliver SDG 12.3 by connecting and accelerating 65 stakeholders from farm to fork. Other international initiatives launched from the Netherlands include the Postharvest Network and recently a memorandum of understanding was signed between Vietnam and the Netherlands, to support the set-up of a taskforce to reduce food loss and waste in Vietnam.
Many Dutch companies and organizations with a strong presence in India are front-runners in the food loss and waste domain in the Netherlands and will be invited through this project to play an active role in India.