Reducing food waste in supply chains worldwide
Food waste is an enormous environmental, social and economic problem. A third of food produced is never eaten, which amounts to about 1.3 billion tonnes of food lost each year. That represents an economic cost to the global economy of USD $940 billion. Food waste is also responsible for adding 3.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases into the planet’s atmosphere annually, so if food waste were a country, its carbon footprint would be third only to China and the US. The water footprint of food waste alone is equivalent to three times the volume of Lake Geneva. This is all without mention of how one in nine people worldwide goes hungry every day.
Given the magnitude of the problem of food waste, CGF members are committed to reducing food loss in their own supply chains in efforts to reduce these statistics and their impact on the planet and human life. Food waste has been a topic of concern at the CGF for years. Now, in alignment with the CGF’s larger global strategy, the CGF has launched a Coalition of Action on Food Waste to accelerate its impact through streamlined and targeted collaborative action. The Charter was approved by the CGF Board of Directors in March 2020.
Learn more about the CGF’s new Coalition of Action on Food Waste in this episode of the CGF Sustainability Podcast.
The new Coalition of Action on Food Waste builds on years of progress on the issue at the CGF. The establishment of the formal Coalition of Action in 2020, with its explicit CEO commitment, creates an opportunity for us to significantly accelerate this progress in reaching food waste reduction objectives.
In mid-2015, the CGF Board approved a resolution to halve food waste within the operations of its members by 2025 and to support wider UN Sustainable Development Goals on the issue. This was a huge milestone in the consumer goods industry’s commitment to environmental stewardship and leadership.
This Food Waste Resolution was the third resolution of the CGF’s Environmental Sustainability work and its aim was to set a clear benchmark for food waste action 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 Food Loss and Waste Protocol, was introduced 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.
In 2017, the CGF started working with Champions 12.3, a private-public partnership from the World Resources Institute that encourages collaborative action to meet UN SDG 12.3.
Working with Champions 12.3, the CGF published a report that highlighted the clear return on investment from food loss and waste retention. The report found that for every $1 companies invested to reduce food loss and waste, they saved $14 in operating costs – concrete evidence in the case for better business.
We have also worked with Champions 12.3 on a Call to Action to simplify and standardise food date labels globally. The CGF Board of Directors unanimously adopted the Call to Action, which notes retailers and food producers should take three important steps to simplify date labels and reduce food waste:
In addition to the labels on products, the Call to Action recommends companies partner with non-profit organisations and government agencies to educate consumers about how to interpret date labels. Education efforts could include in-store displays, web materials and public service announcements. Many consumers don’t know, for example, that many products are still safe to eat past the “Best if used by” date.
STANDARD: The BRCGS Global Standard for Ethical Trade & Responsible Sourcing Issue 2 achieved SSCI Recognition under Scope AI — Social Compliance: Manufacturing & Processing in November 2021.
BRCGS is an established global standards leader, with a rigorous GFSI recognised assurance program that touches every aspect of the 21st century supply chain – from food ingredients to packaging, distribution, retail and beyond. It sets the benchmark for best practice manufacturing, helping to provide reassurance that products and services are high quality, legal and safe. BRCGS is recognised across food and non-food categories as the global standard underpinning brand reputation through compliance, at over 30,000 certificated sites in 130 countries. Visit brcgs.com to find out more.
STANDARD: The Responsible Fishing Vessel Standard 2.1 achieved SSCI Recognition under Scope CI — Social Compliance: At-Sea Operations in November 2022.
In 2018, Global Seafood Assurances and the UK Sea Fish Industry Authority (Seafish) announced a memorandum of understanding to work together to create the next version of the Responsible Fishing Scheme (RFS), committing to expand its global applicability, which resulted in the creation of the Responsible Fishing Vessel Standard. Now part of the Global Seafood Alliance, GSA took ownership of the standards last year. The first RFVS-certified vessel was announced in Australia in January, and the second set of RFVS-certified vessels was announced in the United Kingdom in April. The standard addresses social responsibility, including working conditions and worker voice, about fishing vessels.
STANDARD: The SIZA Social Standard Version 6 achieved SSCI Recognition under Scopes AI — Social Compliance: Manufacturing & Processing, and BI — Social Compliance: Primary Production in June 2023.
SIZA, the Sustainability Initiative of South Africa, is enabling the South African agricultural sector to become a global leader in sustainable farming, ethical trade, and environmental stewardship. The aim is to encourage continuous improvement in practices over time. SIZA aims to have a cost-effective approach for growers by supplying one standard and one audit, no matter which market a producer supplies. SIZA engages directly with stakeholders throughout the value chain to improve supply chain sustainability, ensuring compliance and reducing risks while at the same time offering support and training with regard to best practices and continuous improvement. Verification occurs via third-party audits. For more information on SIZA, please visit our website: www.siza.co.za
STANDARD: The GAA Seafood Processing Standard Issue 5.1 is currently being benchmarked under Scope AI — Social Compliance: Manufacturing & Processing.
A division of the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA), Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) is an international certification program based on achievable, science-based and continuously improved performance standards for the entire aquaculture production chain – including processing plants, farms, hatcheries and feed mills. BAP standards cover environmental responsibility, social accountability, food safety and animal welfare. The BAP program is based on independent audits that evaluate compliance with the BAP standards developed by GAA.
STANDARD: FISH Standard for Crew Version 1.0 is currently being benchmarked under Scope CI — Social Compliance: At-Sea Operations.
The Fairness, Integrity, Safety, and Health (FISH) Standard for Crew is a voluntary, third party labour certification program for wild harvest fishing vessels. FISH is designed to provide harvesters a tool to demonstrate to customers and other stakeholders that the seafood harvested comes from responsible sources with respect to crew treatment, compensation, and conditions. It was developed with input from the full seafood supply chain, including large and small harvesters, processors, retailers and restaurant groups, in consultation with labour non-profit organisations, to create a program that is open to vessels and fleets of all sizes around the globe. Read more about the Standard here.
STANDARD: The Florverde standard for the sustainable production of flowers and ornamentals version 7.2.1 is currently being benchmarked under Scope BI – Social Compliance: Primary Production.
Florverde Sustainable Flowers (FSF) is an independent social and environmental standard which ensures that flowers certified under this scheme have been responsibly produced. This requires flower growers to adopt measures that will protect and enable worker’s rights, implement best environmental practices, and comply with national regulations. FSF also helps safeguard quality by requiring the proper care and handling of flowers.
STANDARD: FSSC 24000 Social Management System Certification Version 1.0 is currently being benchmarked under Scope AI — Social Compliance: Processing and Manufacturing.
The aim of FSSC 24000 is to ensure that social sustainability management system requirements are met, resulting in certifications that assure organisations provide safe and fair working conditions, meet business ethics requirements, and apply due diligence in their supply chain management. FSSC 24000 provides a strategic approach incorporating the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle and risk-based thinking, which ensures the identification and control of social risk and continuous improvement. This process demonstrates corporate responsibility and facilitates improving the social management systems and performance thus driving impact.
FSSC 24000’s scope of certification includes the manufacturing and processing sector (food and non-food), including its related service provision. The certificate confirms that the organisation’s social sustainability management system is in conformance with the FSSC 24000 Scheme requirements based on the following normative documents:
The FSSC 24000 certification scheme is owned and governed by the non-profit Foundation FSSC and outlines the requirements for the audit and certification of a Social Sustainability Management System of an organization. More information on the FSSC 24000 Scheme is available on their website.
STANDARD: The KFC Flowers and Ornamentals Sustainability Standard Version December 2021 is currently being benchmarked under Scopes AI — Social Compliance: Manufacturing & Processing, and BI — Social Compliance: Primary Production.
Kenya Flower Council (KFC) is the country’s leading Business Membership Association for growers and exporters of cut-flower and ornamentals. KFC members account for approximately 80 percent of Kenya’s floricultural exports.
KFC also owns the Flowers and Ornamentals Sustainability Standards (FOSS), a trusted standard worldwide. It is one of only three internationally benchmarked standards that demonstrate sustainable social, environmental and good agricultural business practice benchmarks set by the EU-based Floriculture Sustainability Initiative (FSI). The standard encourages commitment to ethical practices, innovation and promoting equitable trading practices, thus ensuring that certified producers foster sustainable, responsible and safe production of cut flowers and ornamentals.
The Council is in the forefront promoting Kenya as a reliable source of quality cut flowers and ornamentals and the country’s competitiveness in the global floriculture trade. KFC is actively engaged in all major trade negotiations in existing, new and emerging markets and in amplifying Kenya’s image in the international market as the most trusted source of cut flowers and ornamentals.
Currently, Kenya is the third largest producer of cut-flowers and ornamentals in the world and exports to over 60 destinations globally. Floriculture is the fastest growing export sector in the Kenyan economy, providing direct employment for over 200,000 workers.
KFC engages with key actors locally for a favourable business environment for growers and exporters of cut flowers and ornamentals.
STANDARD: WIETA Standard Version 4.0 is currently being benchmarked under Scope AI — Social Compliance: Manufacturing & Processing.
The Wine and Agricultural Ethical Trade Association T/A WIETA was the first South African social standard, established in 2002, to establish an appropriate social auditing methodology for fruit and wine suppliers in South Africa. WIETA proudly demonstrates how a multi-stakeholder model can successfully promote a world class ethical trade and human rights programme within the wine value chain. Innovative social dialogue engagements, a rigorous capacity building and training programme for both workers and producers, coupled with a participative multi-pronged approach to auditing and remedial approach to ensure sustained corrective actions.