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 $940 billion per year and, if food waste were a country, its carbon footprint would be third only to China and the US.
In a world of rising population, 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. Food waste is also responsible for adding 3.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases into the planet's atmosphere per year. Moreover, the water footprint of food waste is equivalent to three times the volume of Lake Geneva.
Given the magnitude of this challenge, the Consumer Goods Industry is therefore committed to food waste reduction.
In mid 2015, the CGF Board approved a resolution to halve food waste within the operations of its 400 retailer and manufacturers members by 2025 and to support wider UN Goals on the issue. This was yet another milestone in the consumer goods industry's commitment to environmental stewardship and leadership.
This Food Waste Resolution
is the third resolution of the CGF’s Sustainability Pillar. Central to the Food Waste Resolution is the aim to set a clear benchmark for food waste arisings today and set measurable goals to reduce food waste in the future.
In June 2016 the first-ever global standard to measure food loss and waste, the FLW Standard,
was introducted through an international partnership. The standard is a set of global definitions and reporting requirements for companies, countries and others to consistently and credibly measure, report on and manage food loss and waste. It comes as a growing number of governments, companies and other entities are making commitments to reduce food loss and waste.
The FLW Standard was developed by the Food Loss and Waste Protocol
, a multi-stakeholder partnership convened by World Resources Institute and initiated at the 3GF 2013 Summit. FLW Protocol partners include: The Consumer Goods Forum, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), EU-funded FUSIONS project, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), WRAP (The Waste and Resources Action Programme) and World Resources Institute.