Banbury, UK — A new tool, the „Think.Eat.Save Guidance Version 1.0“, has been released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation (FAO), the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) as part of SAVE FOOD Initiative and FAO-UNEP Sustainable Food Systems Programme. The tool provides guidance to governments, local authorities, businesses and others on designing effective food waste prevention programmes.
Research shows that at least one-third, or 1.3 billion tonnes, of food produced each year is lost or wasted – an amount corresponding to over 1.4 billion hectares of cropland. Even a quarter of this lost food could feed all the world’s hungry people. In a world where over 840 million go hungry every day, achieving food security goes beyond increasing global food production. Better food systems and sustainable consumption and production approaches are needed to achieve food security for all.
According to the FAO, almost half of all fruit and vegetables is wasted each year. About 10 per cent of developed countries’ greenhouse gas emissions come from growing food that is never eaten, and food loss and waste amounts to roughly USD 680 billion in industrialized countries and USD 310 billion in developing countries.
More than a million participants
Ensuring that all the world’s people have enough food is the vision of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Zero Hunger Challenge, and UNEP and the FAO are jointly charged under the challenge with reducing food loss and waste. To this end, UNEP in partnership with FAO, Messe Düsseldorf GmbH, WRAP and others, launched Think.Eat.Save: Reduce your Foodprint – a global campaign to galvanize concerted action on food waste. In its first year, this campaign has engaged more than a million participants in awareness-raising activities, reached a diverse global network of followers, and provided a portal to showcase ideas and share resources.
The Think.Eat.Save Guidance Version 1.0 presents a full journey for users of the tool, beginning with the mapping and measuring of food waste and the development of national or regional policies and measures. In-depth modules then focus on programmes for food waste prevention in households and in the food supply chain.
Built on proven experiences
The guidance document provides clear and comprehensive steps on scoping, planning, delivering and measuring food waste prevention programmes and activities, at national, regional, business and household level. It has been built on proven experiences around the world, including that of the United Kingdom, where avoidable household food waste has been reduced by 21 per cent between 2007 and 2012.
“Version 1.0” is to be enriched progressively as many more countries around the world begin to take on the challenge and reap the benefits of food waste reduction. To this end, UNEP and FAO are recruiting pilot countries and cities without existing frameworks for food waste prevention to test the Think.Eat.Save Guidance Version 1.0 over the coming years. Technical and strategic support will be provided to pilot countries and cities, as they initiate, define, deliver and monitor food waste prevention programmes.
Dealing with sustainable food systems
The document will evolve further with the development of the Food Loss and Waste Protocol for food waste measurement to support coherent global data collection, being led by the World Resources Institute (WRI).
This practical guide is launched in anticipation of the forthcoming Committee on World Food Security High Level Panel of Experts Food Losses and Waste in the Context of Sustainable Food Systems report, which supports concerted and collective action. It also contributes to the recently agreed development of a new component to the 10 Year Framework of Programmes for Sustainable Consumption and Production, which will be dealing with „sustainable food systems“.
The guidance document can be downloaded from thinkeatsave.org.
Source: Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP)