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Resource Efficiency

New report suggests that half of all food wasted is by consumers


A new paper produced for this year’s annual World Environment Day (WED) says that consumers are responsible for more than half of the food lost and wasted in Europe, the United States, Canada and Australia. In contrast, about two-thirds of the food lost and wasted in developing countries occurs during harvest and storage. The paper was launched as part of the Think.Eat.Save campaign being carried out by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Read more…

Food waste is a global issue and has been identified in the Roadmap to a Resource-Efficient Europe as a key sector where resource efficiency should be improved. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates that, based on weight, 32% of all food produced in the world in 2009 was lost or wasted. When converted into calories, global food loss and waste amounts to approximately 24 % of all food produced.

Food is wasted throughout the entire food chain by farmers, the food industry, retailers, caterers and consumers. Some of the causes are over-production, product and packaging damage, inadequate storage and lack of knowledge about how to cook food leftovers. The Think.Eat.Save campaign run by UNEP, the FAO and other partners, underlines the disparities between food production and consumption patterns in developed and developing countries and is calling for changes in the way that food is harvested, transported, processed, sold and consumed.

The working paper, ‘Reducing Food Loss and Waste’, has been produced by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and UNEP and draws on research from the FAO. It makes a range of recommendations including the development of a ‘food loss and waste protocol’―a global standard for how to measure, monitor and report food loss and waste.

Find more info:

Working paper: Reducing Food Loss and Waste

World Environment Day website

Think.Eat.Save campaign website

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