Advances in weather and climate services have helped boost agricultural productivity. However, one out of every four calories produced by the global agricultural system is being lost or wasted, according to new analysis.This poses a serious challenge to the planet’s ability to reduce hunger and meet the food needs of a rapidly-expanding global population.
Released on World Environment Day (WED), which this year carries the theme ‘Think.Eat.Save - Reduce Your Foodprint’, the new working paper, Reducing Food Loss and Waste, shows that more than half of the food lost and wasted in Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia occurs close to the fork—at the consumption stage. By contrast, in developing countries, about two-thirds of the food lost and wasted occurs close to the farm—after harvest and storage.
Reducing Food Loss and Waste was produced by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and draws on research from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
It makes a range of recommendations including the development of a “food loss and waste protocol” - a global standard for how to measure, monitor, and report food loss and waste. If what gets measured gets managed, then such a protocol could go a long way toward helping governments and companies implement targeted efforts to reduce food loss and waste.