Food waste: some facts
Food is wasted before, during or after meal preparation in the households and is discarded during production, manufacturing, distribution, retail and catering.
- About 90 million tonnes of food is wasted annually or 180 kg per capita per year in Europe, excluding agricultural food waste and fish discards.
- About a third of the food for human consumption is wasted globally - around 1.3 billion tons per year, according to FAO;
- Food waste in industrialized countries is as high as in developing countries:
- In developing countries, over 40% of food losses happen after harvest and during processing;
- In industrialised countries, over 40% occurs at retail and consumer level.
A sustainable food chain: why it matters
Improving the sustainability of the food chain is essential in tackling climate change, resource scarcity and global food security.
Food production and consumption generate:
- 20-30% of all EU environmental impacts;
- 17% of direct greenhouse gas emissions;
- 28% of material resource use in the EU;
- Other environmental impacts related to energy use, land use, water use, biodiversity loss and waste production.