On September 29th, the world comes together to observe the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction. It is an opportunity to raise awareness of the issue of food loss and waste, and to promote actions to reduce it. Food loss and waste is a major global problem. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), about one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted each year. This amounts to about 1.3 billion tonnes of food, worth approximately US$1 trillion.
Food loss and waste occurs at all stages of the food supply chain, from production to processing, transportation, distribution, and consumption. It is caused by a variety of factors, including inadequate infrastructure, poor handling practices, and consumer behavior.
This article explores the importance of reducing food loss and waste and delves into the history and significance of this observance.
The 2023 Theme: Transforming Food Systems
The theme for the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste in 2023 is “Reducing food loss and waste: Taking Action to Transform Food Systems.” This theme highlights the shared responsibility of governments, businesses, and individuals in addressing food loss and waste. It calls for innovative approaches and actions to reduce food loss and waste, ultimately contributing to the creation of more resilient and sustainable food systems.
Why Reducing Food Loss and Waste Matters?
Reducing food loss and waste is essential because it conserves valuable resources. When food is lost or wasted, it represents not only the loss of the food itself but also the resources used in its production—resources such as water, land, energy, labor, and capital. By minimizing food loss and waste, we can make more efficient use of these resources, helping to ensure their sustainability for future generations.
Addressing Climate Change
Food loss and waste also have a significant environmental impact. When discarded food ends up in landfills, it decomposes and produces greenhouse gases, contributing to climate change. Reducing food waste is, therefore, an important step in mitigating the environmental effects of food production and disposal.
Enhancing Food Security
Food loss and waste can negatively affect food security by reducing the overall availability of food. In a world where millions still suffer from hunger and malnutrition, preserving every bit of food is crucial to ensure that everyone has access to an adequate food supply.
Reducing the Cost of Food
Food loss and waste also drive up the cost of food production and distribution. This increased cost can lead to higher prices for consumers, making food less affordable for many. By addressing food loss and waste, we can contribute to more affordable and accessible food for all.
UN General Assembly Recognition
The International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction was designated by the 74th United Nations General Assembly in 2019. This recognition underscores the fundamental role of sustainable food production in promoting food security and nutrition. It serves as a reminder of the global community’s commitment to addressing this critical issue.
Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO):
Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) is an international body which deals with food security, hunger and nutrition at global level.
- Director General of United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is Qu-Dongyu.
- FAO is specialised agency of United Nations.
- Establishment: FAO is established 16 October, 1945.
- Headquarter: Headquarter of FAO is situated at Rome, Italy.
- Parent Organization: United Nation Economic and Social Council.
- FAO comprises of 195 members including 194 countries and European Union.