Global food waste numbers are grim. One-third of all food in the world is wasted, while 800 million people around the world remain undernourished. Up to $940 billion a year is lost, as well as one-fourth of all water used by agriculture each year.
But the momentum to curb food loss and waste has grown in recent years. Many countries â including the USÂ â set ambitious food waste reduction goals, though they lacked common definitions, reporting guidelines, and the knowledge of exactly where and why food was being lost.
Last month, a coalition led by the United Nations and the World Research Institute announced a global set of standards to measure food loss and waste, with the goal of halving global food waste by 2030.
The Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard is a set of reporting requirements to better measure, report on, and manage food loss and waste, for both countries and private companies.
Perhaps the biggest accomplishment of the standard is to define wasted or lost food as food no longer available for human consumption. So even if food is still usable for compost or animal consumption, it is still considered waste under the new standards. This will help improve food security, Robert van Otterdijk of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said to Marketplace.
The private sector is embracing the new standards as well, including the Consumer Goods Forum, which represents more than 400 of the world's largest retailers and manufacturers from 70 countries, which adopted a resolution for
Though the new standards are voluntary, many countries â including the US â have declared their intent to use them.
- Coalition launches global food loss and waste standard (Marketplace)
- UN announces first-ever global standard to measure food loss and waste (UN News Centre)