SDG goal: Responsible consumption and production

12.Responsible consumption and production

Globally, a third of all food is lost or wasted
between the farm and the fork.

Reducing food loss and waste can be a triple win: It can save money for farmers, companies, and households; wasting less can feed more people; and reductions can alleviate pressure on climate, water, and land resources. But it is not only about waste, also current processes for food production need to be modernized and innovated, thus reducing energy and water consumption. The circular economy is envisaged to reduce the pressure on natural resources.

Our goal: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

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Examples of WUR projects

Champions 12.3

Globally, a third of all food is lost or wasted between the farm and the fork. According to the FAO, food loss and waste amounts to $940 billion in global annual economic losses. Lost and wasted food consumes about one quarter of all water used by agriculture, requires cropland area the size of China, and generates about 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. A coalition of 30 leaders, including WUR president Louise Fresco, has announced they aim to accelerate the progress toward meeting Target 12.3 of the UN SDGs. Champions 12.3 will implement and build upon ongoing successful UN programs to reduce food loss and waste and efforts such as EU FUSION.

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Saving wasted fish

Fish is an essential source of protein in Africa. The huge amounts of fish left to spoil in harbours because it cannot be preserved quickly enough is therefore a dreadful waste. Researchers from Wageningen joined forces with industry in an EU project to develop a cheap, low-energy method of drying fish. The device dries the fish by blowing it with cool, very dry air, which ensures that the nutrients and quality are preserved. This fish, which would otherwise be wasted, is transported far into the inland areas of Africa where it is a welcome addition to people’s diets.

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