International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste – 29th September

  • This year we celebrate the first ever observance of the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste. 
  • It also comes during the global COVID-19 pandemic that has brought about a global wake-up on the need to transform and rebalance the way our food is produced and consumed.
  • Reducing food losses and waste is essential in a world where the number of people affected by hunger has been slowly on the rise since 2014, and tons and tons of edible food are lost and/or wasted every day. 
  • Food loss and waste also puts unnecessary pressure on the natural resource base and on the environment, depleting the natural resource base and generating greenhouse gases.

Why is it important to reduce food loss and waste?

  • Globally, around 14 percent of food produced is lost between harvest and retail. Significant quantities are also wasted in retail and at the consumption level.
  • When food is loss or wasted, all the resources that were used to produce this food -, including water, land, energy, labour and capital – go to waste. 
  • In addition, the disposal of food loss and waste in landfills, leads to greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to climate change.
  • To monitor SDG Target 12.3, FAO has created the Food Loss Index (FLI). 
  • The focus of the indicator is on percentages of food removed from the supply chain. 
  • The FLI monitors changes in these percentages over time, relative to a base period currently set at 2015, in order to track progress against SDG Target 12.3.