New Roadmap Outlines A Path To Significant Reductions In Food Loss And Waste, Emissions


New Roadmap Outlines A Path To Significant Reductions In Food Loss And Waste, Emissions

December 4, 2023

$300M in ready-to-fund philanthropic investments can help transform failing food systems and deliver major climate, economic, and environmental gains.

DUBAI, DECEMBER 5, 2023 – Released today, “Reducing Food Loss and Waste – A Roadmap for Philanthropy” shows how governments, philanthropy, and the private sector can take a big bite out of emissions while improving food security, nutrition, incomes, and the environment. It highlights proven solutions ready to catalyze progress globally and showcases seven pivotal countries – Brazil, China, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States – that are poised to make remarkable progress on reducing food loss and waste.

More than one-third of all food produced worldwide is never eaten, and the consequences are profound. Food loss and waste causes at least 10% of greenhouse gas emissions, because food decaying in landfills produces methane; energy is used to grow, transport, cool, and cook food; and native ecosystems are converted into agriculture. Just five geographies are responsible for more than half of these emissions: China, the European Union, India, the United States, and Brazil.

Food loss (on farms and in supply chains) and waste (at the retail and consumer levels) deprives farmers of income, costs consumers money, and exacerbates biodiversity loss – all while 700 million people suffer from hunger worldwide.

Reducing food loss and waste is a powerful way to build food systems that nurture successful societies and maintain balanced ecosystems. Nearly every country in the world has committed to a 50% reduction in per capita food waste by 2030, as well as reductions in food loss. Most importantly, a number of leading nations are proving these ambitious commitments can be met, charting a path that others can follow and paving the way to global gains.

Read the global roadmap roadmap HERE.

Access the Brazil country roadmap HERE (pg. 20).

Access the China country roadmap HERE (pg. 21).

Access the Indonesia country roadmap HERE (pg. 23).

Access the Kenya country roadmap HERE (pg. 25).

 Access the Mexico country roadmap HERE (pg. 27).

Access the South Africa country roadmap HERE (pg. 29).

Access the United States country roadmap HERE (pg. 31).

About the Roadmap

Nearly 50 expert organizations contributed to this new roadmap, which was led by the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU), ReFED, WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme), and the World Resources Institute (WRI) and funded by the Bezos Earth Fund, the Betsy and Jesse Fink Family Foundation, the IKEA Foundation, and the Robertson Foundation

“Food is absolutely at the core of the world’s climate and nature crises. Transforming our food system to reduce food loss and waste is critical to lowering greenhouse gas emissions and conserving nature,” said Andy Jarvis, Director of Future of Food at the Bezos Earth Fund. “We are thrilled to be part of such a groundbreaking shift toward a more sustainable, more just food system and to help lead the conversation around this incredibly high-stakes — and solvable — planetary challenge.”

“Whether you look at it from a climate, land, water, farmer income, or access to nutritious food angle, we must significantly reduce food loss and waste. This roadmap shows that there are great opportunities to start meaningful collaboration between different sectors and stakeholders to make an impact now. We call on fellow donors to work with us to catalyze these solutions,” said Marilia Bezerra, Chief Programmes Officer at the IKEA Foundation.

“As a long-time funder in this space we’re thrilled to see food waste elevated as part of the international climate conversation and to see new partners championing the issue. Food waste remains an under-funded opportunity, making this roadmap a significant milestone in what we consider possible in transforming our food systems to solve food loss and waste,”  said Ida Posner of the Posner Foundation.

"From cold-chain storage solutions that prolong the shelf-life of nutrient-dense goods, to data-driven innovations that promote the redistribution of surplus meals, there is no shortage of solutions to tackle food loss and waste. While political will is critical in scaling them, all players must take action to unlock their full potential in mitigating emissions, reducing hunger and achieving resilient livelihoods for all. This roadmap presents a clear opportunity to crowd in the much-needed and largely overlooked support of the philanthropic sector as we head into COP28,” said Morgan Gillespy, Executive Director of the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU).

"Food waste is a solvable problem, and philanthropic funding is critical to developing and scaling solutions. This new roadmap shows where funding can have the greatest impact in the immediate future and outlines a clear path to achieve measurable progress. It is an essential contribution to reaching our global food waste reduction goals," said Dana Gunders, Executive Director of the nonprofit ReFED.

“WRAP is pleased to be working with other world-leading experts and forward-thinking philanthropists on this crucial issue because we won’t halt climate change, if we don’t fix our failing food system. WRAP has shown what can be done when we bring together the right actors. The UK has seen more than 30% reductions in retail and manufacturing waste and significant reductions in household food waste over time. Over the past 6 years, our voluntary agreement model has been successfully deployed in more countries as we work with brilliant national partners to deliver change. We know this approach works, but we must increase the scale and pace of efforts to have any chance of meeting SDG 12.3. This roadmap shows the way. We now need donors to be the catalyst for change that the world so urgently needs,” said David Rogers, International Director of WRAP.

“The damaging impacts that food loss and waste have on us all – the contribution to climate change, the effect on our household budgets and incomes, and the waste of land and water – mean that it is essential that we all take action. I hope that this roadmap will help raise awareness and catalyze increased focus and action so we can collectively develop a more sustainable food system,”  said Dr. Liz Goodwin, Senior Fellow Food Loss and Waste at the World Resources Institute (WRI).

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ReFED is a national nonprofit working to end food loss and waste across the food system by advancing data-driven solutions to the problem. ReFED leverages data and insights to highlight supply chain inefficiencies and economic opportunities; mobilizes and connects people to take targeted action; and catalyzes capital to spur innovation and scale high-impact initiatives. ReFED’s goal is a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive food system that optimizes environmental resources, minimizes climate impacts, and makes the best use of the food we grow.

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