Sustainable Food Systems Matter
Long gone are the days when sustainability was merely a buzzword. Today, it is one of several key policy objectives driving cooperation and commitment among various stakeholders to create better food systems. From food producers to consumers, manufacturers to retailers, we all have a role to play. Collective and coordinated action can only serve to amplify our efforts. While there are several areas of potential intervention, food waste has the potential to unlock environmental, social and economic benefits.
Globally, it is estimated that 1.3 Gtones of edible food goes to waste or is lost each year. For context, this is equal to slightly more than one third of the world's food supply by weight. In total food waste costs our global food systems USD2.6 trillion a year. This figure accounts for the impacts of food waste on natural resources such as water, biodiversity as well as factors such as livelihood vulnerability.
Food waste is widespread due in part to wasteful behaviors that occur at every stage of the food value chain from pre-harvest to consumption. Trends do exist however and understanding treands can support efforts to design and prioritse interventions. For example, downstream food waste, which is concentrated in middle and high income regions, is due to consumer behavior. Downstream food waste occurs post-harvest during processing, distribution and consumption. Downstream was accounts for almost 50% of food waste in food systems in middle and high-income countries.
Here at i'mPerfect, we work with businesses and organisations to design and implement solutions to reduce food waste. We believe that sustainabiity is an opportunity. Whether the objective is to increase food security or reduce a sector's carbon footprint, sustainability strategies that target food waste can create lasting positive social, economic and environmental benefits.