One-third of the food produced for human consumption in the world each year is lost or wasted, amonting to 1.3 billion metric tonnes, according to new research commissioned by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. For this report, FAO hired the services of the Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology to carry out two studies on the extent and effects, causes and prevention of food losses and food waste - one for high and medium-income countries, and one for low-income countries.
"Global food losses and food waste" is on the causes and prevention of food losses, for high/medium-income countries on the one hand and for low-income countries on the other hand. This study aims at producing a uniform and complete overview of food losses, causes, possible remedies and for low-income countries their effect on food securiy, for strategy and programme development of FAO member countries. The study highlights the food losses occuring from farm to table, taking into account the qualitative aspects (loss of nutritional value, detoriation in food quality and safety), and where reliable information is available, the magnitude of these losses. Further the study identifies the causes of food losses and possible solutions, including the (potential) role of packaging in preventing these losses.
The second study "Food packaging solutions in developing countries" explores how low-income countries can make better use of locally available packaging materials, either imported or manufactured from indigenous materials, for containing and preserving food products that are safe and maintain their nutritional value. The study analyses the investment potential for the food packaging industry and highlight appropriate packaging solutions for less developd countries. The study elaborates on key areas how to improve the competitiveness of the small and medium scale food processing industry in low-income countries through the use of improved, cost-effective packaging and packaging technologies.
Fisseha Tessema (Project Manager, UNEP/Wuppertal Institute Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP))
Related PAEPARD blog post 14/03
"Taste The Waste" debuted at the Berlinale 2011 and is scheduled to start after the summer 2011 break in German cinemas.