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The State of Food and Agriculture 2019

Moving Forward on Food Loss and Waste Reduction

image of The State of Food and Agriculture 2019

This year's edition provides new estimates of the percentage of the world's food lost from production up to the retail level. It suggests that identifying and understanding critical loss points in specific supply chains – where considerable potential exists for reducing food losses – is crucial to deciding on appropriate measures. It also provides some guiding principles for interventions based on the objectives being pursued through food loss and waste reductions, be they in improved economic efficiency, food security and nutrition, or environmental sustainability.

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Food loss and waste and environmental sustainability

Reducing food loss and waste is enshrined in SDG 12 on sustainable consumption and production – specifically in Target 12.3, which calls for the halving of food waste and reduction of food losses by 2030. It is also connected to the environmental dimension of the other SDGs, including SDG 6 on water and sanitation (Target 6.4 on the efficiency of water use), SDG 13 on climate action (Target 13.2 on the reduction of GHG emissions), SDG 14 on marine resources (Target 14.2 on protecting marine and coastal ecosystems) and SDG 15 on life on land (Target 15.1 on the conservation of ecosystems). The inclusion of food loss and waste reduction in the SDGs ref lects the fact that producing food that is not eaten – whether lost in the field or wasted on a plate – not only diminishes the quantit y of food available, but also constitutes a waste of economic and environmental resources.

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