Food experts issue global agenda to halve food loss and waste by 2030

Published on
August 29, 2019

New research from top food and agriculture experts suggests the world is at a critical moment in the fight against food loss and waste. The report 'Reducing Food Loss and Waste: Setting a Global Action Agenda' finds momentum is building to address the 1.3 billion tons of food that is lost or wasted each year – but not yet at a pace needed – and proposes a global action agenda to successfully meet the United Nations’ call, known as SDG 12.3, to halve food loss and waste by 2030.

Released at the World Food Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, the report has been produced by World Resources Institute with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, and in partnership with United Nations Environment, Natural Resources Defense Council, Iowa State University, The University of Maryland’s Ed Snider Center, The Consortium for Innovation in Postharvest Loss and Food Waste Reduction, Wageningen University & Research, the World Bank, and WRAP. The report is designed to guide businesses, governments, civil society, and others in the food system to play an active role in tackling food loss and waste, individually and collectively.  

Wageningen University & Research is committed to contribute to achieving halving food loss and waste around the world (Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3). WUR has been leading in partnership initiatives and research programs in Food Waste Prevention and Utilisation over a decade. Results of Wageningen research activities as a partner in global programs with CCAFS (CGIAR research program on Climate Change Agriculture and Food Security) and Rockefeller Foundation, have been fed into the new report.

As a core-partner in the new global coalition of universities on Food Losses and Waste, Wageningen will contribute with research and innovation to catalyse further actions at different scales. WUR is coordinator of EU projects FUSIONS and REFRESH, and has contributed to the increased understanding of the issue, harmonisation of data, innovation and consumer insights across Europe.

Initiated by WUR and partners from industry and our National government, The Netherlands has been identified as a frontrunner in setting targets, building a national private-public partnership within the foundation SamenTegenVoedselverspilling, aiming to be one of the first countries that will reach the SDG 12.3 target. WUR president Louise Fresco is personal ambassador to the topic, being a member of the global Champions 12.3 coalition.

Nearly a third of all food produced in the world goes uneaten each year, an amount that costs the global economy $940 billion and emits 8% of planet-warming greenhouse gases. At the same time, 1 in 9 people is undernourished. Looking across the entire food supply chain, from farm to plate, the report pinpoints prime opportunities for governments and business to reduce such inefficiency and waste.