Giving Compass' Take:

• In this opinion piece from Food Tank, Máximo Torero argues that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) close review of what we know about food loss offers a reminder that there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

• Food waste has economic, environmental, and social repercussions, some of which are not yet quantifiable.  How can funders work to implement the suggestions in this article? 

• Learn more about food waste globally. 


Few issues have generated as much public interest in recent years as food loss and waste, widely agreed to be a moral and technical failure in a world where hunger and malnutrition have yet to be eradicated.

In 2011, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations ignited public awareness of this with a report, produced with the Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology, that estimated one-third of the food produced globally is never eaten. That figure and the research underlying it remain widely cited today.

That was eight years ago. FAO has been working hard since to tailor pilot programs in the field and to improve practical understanding of how to make it possible to reduce food loss and waste as pledged in Sustainable Development Goal 12.3.

We have developed the Food Loss Index, which will allow countries to measure the amount of food lost after harvest and through storage, transportation, and processing but not including the retail level—where loss formally becomes waste, which is under the remit of UN Environment. Solid and comparable data are needed, both to monitor progress and to identify best practices.

Read the full article on ways to reduce food loss by Máximo Torero at Food Tank.