World Majlis | The Value of Food

World Majlis

Reducing Food Loss and Waste for a Healthier Planet

We grow enough food to feed 10 billion people – 30 percent more than we need. Our challenge is not how to produce more food, but to waste less, and with less impact on the planet. Agriculture today is the largest consumer of the world’s freshwater resources. It accounts for over 25 percent of global energy use, and uses half of the world’s habitable land. Meanwhile, one person in nine is undernourished while as much as one-third of the total food on the planet is lost or wasted. Food loss and waste are responsible for an estimated 8 percent of global CO2 emissions, and the economic costs of food loss are estimated at $400 billion per year, even before the additional costs of food waste. From producer to distributor to consumer, food loss occurs at every step of getting the food from farm to table. The reasons range from bad weather to processing problems, overproduction, inadequate storage infrastructure, and retailer and consumer behaviour. Reducing food waste is a social, environmental, and economic challenge, and is key to the better health of humans and the planet.