Despite the central role food plays in all of our lives, we let a great deal of it go to waste. About one-third of all food produced in the world goes uneaten each year—a fact that harms our climate, costs the global economy billions of dollars and strains natural resources like water and land.
Given the enormous impacts, it’s clear why the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals issued Target 12.3’s call to halve food waste and reduce food losses by 2030.
But with 13 short years to go, is the world doing enough?
According to a new report from Champions 12.3, the progress is promising. Countries or regional blocs that have set specific food loss and waste reduction targets cover an estimated 28 per cent of the world’s population. At the same time, nearly 60 per cent of the world’s 50 largest food companies have set targets to reduce food loss and waste. More than 10 per cent of the 50 largest companies also now have active programs to waste less food.
Meanwhile, initiatives have taken off in the European Union, United States, Japan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and in other countries that expand public-private partnerships, government policies and consumer campaigns aimed at reducing food loss and waste.
But it’s not all roses. Only a few countries, accounting for just 7 per cent of the world’s population, currently measure and publicly report on how much food is lost or wasted within their borders.
These latest figures beg the question: Can the world really cut global food loss and waste in half by 2030? The answer is yes—but only if many more governments and companies set ambitious targets, measure this inefficiency and take action to reduce food loss and waste.
To my mind, there are three immediate challenges that require a collective approach.
This was originally published by Eco Business.