Archived Food Waste Updates
Herein you can find all the archived news and updates on our work around food waste. You can also navigate to other workstreams of the Sustainability Pillar by clicking on the topic of interest below.
[Press Release] Consumer Goods Industry Commits to Food Waste Reduction
-- The Consumer Goods Forum Board Agree on Resolution to Halve Food Waste by 2025 within Member Retail and Manufacturing Operations; and
-- To Support UN Goals on Food Waste Reduction at Consumer Level and Across Supply Chains
PARIS and NEW YORK, 24th June 2015 – The Consumer Goods Forum (the CGF) today announced its commitment to tackling the global food waste challenge by agreeing to halve food waste going to disposal within the operations of its 400 retailer and manufacturers members by 2025. Food waste is an enormous environmental, social and economic challenge. A third of food calories produced are never eaten. It represents an economic cost to the global economy of $750 billion per year and, if food waste were a country, its carbon footprint would be third only to China and the US.
Steering Committee Works Towards Food Waste Resolution
Food waste represents an enormous inefficiency for our industry, and for the planet. Addressing food waste could lead to improved food security for both people and countries, reduced demands on the planet, and lower carbon footprint as well as costs for companies in the food value chain as well as for their respective customers.
With 30-50% of food produced estimated to be wasted, the Sustainability Pillar is now working together to help align the industry towards a common and collaborative goal and approach. A key part of the approach will be the continued work with and support of the WRI Food Loss and Waste Protocol.
Our Board of Directors Approves Way Forward on Food Waste
During its last meeting, the Board has discussed the need for The Forum to show strong leadership on food waste reduction:
- In a world of rising populations, increasing cost of food, concerns about inequality and growing food insecurity, food waste is one of the greatest challenges of our time, with 30% (1.3 billion tonnes) of food produced being wasted each year.
- If food waste was a country, it would be the third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases globally after the US and China, and its water footprint is equivalent to three times the volume of Lake Geneva.
- The value of food wasted each year is $940 billion.
- The UN has the aspiration to minimise food waste and achieve a 50% reduction of post-harvest loss by 2030.
The Sustainability Steering Committee has undertaken a comprehensive review of existing food waste initiatives and believes we have a unique role to play in tackling this challenge on a global scale with an innovative, consumer focused mindset. An internal survey also confirms the high level of interest from members to engage in work on this important topic.
In the next six months, the Steering Committee will work on details for a resolution on Food Waste, which will be centred around a pledge to help reduce food waste throughout the food chain and maximise the value of the remaining waste.
It will be based on an assessment by companies using the World Resources Institute (WRI) Food Loss & Waste (FLW) Protocol, as a harmonised, global and recognised standard allowing members to define and quantify food waste. We are actively contributing to the development of the Protocol and once it is reviewed and approved, members can use the Protocol to measure food waste within their own operations.
In parallel, the working group will develop a plan to reduce food waste including sharing best practices and enabling technologies, raising our members’, suppliers’ and consumers’ awareness and promoting food waste reduction initiatives at local and global levels. We will share our learning with other companies in the food industry beyond the The Forum’s members.
Food Waste – The CGF Uniquely Placed to Help Tackle Issue
A Food Waste workshop on 11th March has emphasised how there is currently no global initiative on tackling food waste being led by the private sector. Current global initiatives are either run by public or civil society, while private sector initiatives are only regional or national. It was agreed that this places the CGF in a unique position to work with its members and their business partners to tackle food wastage from farm to fork globally.
As a follow-up to the workshop, the CGF Sustainability Steering Group, at their recent bi-annual meeting, discussed next steps on how the consumer goods industry can help tackle this issue globally. Four items were listed for further action:
- Look for ways to contribute to global initiatives (like Food Loss and Waste Measurement Protocol);
- Update the CGF’s inventory on existing food waste initiatives;
- Conduct a survey among CGF members to help them address food waste and to see what initiatives our industry is already involved in; and
- Draft a potential resolution on Food Waste.