Global standard launched to measure food waste

6th June 2016

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  • Business & Industry ,
  • Agriculture ,
  • Manufacturing ,
  • Food and drink ,
  • Waste


Georgina James

An international coalition has developed a standard to measure, report on and manage food loss and waste.

Launched at the Global Green Growth Forum (3GF) summit in Denmark, the Food Loss and Waste (FLW) standard is the first set of global definitions and reporting requirements. It aims to help businesses and countries to produce consistent data on food loss and waste.

The standard was developed by a coalition led by the World Resources Institute (WRI). Partners include the Consumer Goods Forum, Wrap, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the EU-funded Fusions food waste reduction project, the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations and the UN Environment Programme.

A growing number of governments, companies and other organisations are making commitments to reduce food waste, the coalition said. However, most do not know how much food is lost or wasted or where it occurs within their borders, operations or supply chains.

It noted that the definition of food loss and waste varies widely and that without a consistent accounting and reporting framework it is difficult to compare data and develop effective reduction strategies.

‘This standard is a real breakthrough. For the first time, armed with the standard, countries and companies will be able to quantify how much food is lost and wasted, where it occurs, and report on it in a highly credible and consistent manner,’ said Andrew Steer, president and chief executive of the WRI.

Peter Bakker, president and chief executive of the WBCSD, said the standard would be pivotal in setting a reliable baseline for countries and businesses to work on. ‘Wasting a third of the food we produce is a clear symptom of a global food system in trouble,’ he said.

Liz Goodwin, chief executive officer of Wrap, added that the organisation’s work to help reduce household waste in the UK by 21% was only possible after analysis of the quantities and sources of food waste.

The standard can be viewed here.


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