By Steve Raskin, TOMRA Sorting Food
Almost one-third of all food produced worldwide is never eaten and leads to 1.3 billion tons of food waste each year. This includes around 45 percent of all fruit and vegetables and 20 percent of meat. Just one-quarter of this wasted food could feed the 795 million chronically-hungry people around the world.
Of this waste, over half (54 percent) is lost in upstream processes, including agricultural production and post-harvest handling. The other 46 percent is wasted in processing, distribution, and consumption. With the cost of this totaling $750 billion annually to the global economy, addressing food wastage offers significant potential to ease pressures on natural resources and the tightening balance of supply and demand.
In September 2015, the United Nations (UN) met to agree to cut per capita food waste in half by 2030. This set a new precedent by including food loss and food waste reduction within the UN’s global development goals.