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23/07/2016

Food for thought: Reducing food waste

Development Policy

Food for thought: Reducing food waste

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In 2050, over 9 billion people will live on this planet and feeding them will be a challenge. Increasing food availability has always been the main solution to achieve a food secured future.

Reducing food loss and waste can also help to ?alleviate poverty, while reducing pressure on the climate and water supply.

The UN estimates that 1?3rd of all food produced is lost or wasted. B?ut where and how is food wasted?

56% occurs in the developed world, mostly at a consumption stage.

44% happens in the developing world, mostly at production, storage and handling stages.

The World Resource Institute says that empowering women at both production and consumption levels is a good start. Women comprise 41% of the agricultural workforce worldwide and are responsible for almost 90% of the time spent on household food preparation.

During the handling and storage stages, implementing small technological advancements can make a difference. Plastic storage bags, small metal silos and plastic crates are some examples. At consumption, food redistribution or donation programs and rethinking portion sizes are a good method.

If the world was committed to cut the global rate of food waste in half, food shortage would dicrease by around 22%.

In Europe, the European Commission has already promised to reduce the continent’s food waste by 50% by 2020. But NGOs are calling on the EU to include it as a main priority in its “circular economy strategy.”