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Publication | 30 September 2020

World Bank. Addressing Food Loss and Waste : A Global Problem with Local Solutions - 2020

Food Loos and Waste (FLW) is responsible for about 8 percent of global GHGEs.
In this report, the role that FLW could play in reducing the environmental footprint of food systems is investigated, as well as the potential contribution of reduced FLW to key distributional goals — food security, farmers’ incomes and value of trade.
This report looks at the food supply chain to analyze in greater depth what drives FLW, how reducing FLW would reverberate through the food system, and how it would contribute to policy goals of economic efficiency, food security, farmers’ incomes, and trade.
The first insight of the analysis is that the large amount of FLW is probably caused by food prices that are too low.
The second insight is that reducing FLW would indeed help reduce the environmental footprint and GHGEs of food systems, while at the same time improving food security.
The third insight is that the best stage of the supply chain for policy to reduce FLW depends on the specific circumstances of the country. There are five important factors to consider: the cascading effect, whom to hold responsible for GHGEs from FLW, the policy objective, the commodity, and the trade situation of the country.

Then the report explores the policy options to achieve a FLW reduction. Reducing FLW needs to be but one element of a strategy to improve food systems, and should not be pursued in isolation. Similarly, reducing FLW should be part of any strategy to transform food systems to achieve healthier people, a healthier planet, and prosperity, given the many win-wins it can generate.
The report finally proposes key elements for action when developing a country-level FLW strategy.