Knowledge for a sustainable world

Estimates suggest that nearly a third of the food produced for human consumption globally—roughly 1.3 billion tonnes a year—is wasted or lost on its journey from farm to table. At the same time, between 691 and 783 million people did not have sufficient access to food in 2022.

While not immediately obvious, food loss and waste (FLW) are very complex phenomena. The data and metrics around the scale of FLW vary by commodity, location and year among other factors. FLW figures are the aggregated losses from each of the different activity stages in the value chain. For grains and dried crops, these are the losses of food during harvesting, transport, drying, threshing, winnowing, sorting, storing, processing and marketing. Waste on the other hand, is food that is discarded and not utilised at the retail level or consumed at the catering level, or by individual households.