We were pleased to contribute to November’s conference on food waste and food security in Arlington, Virginia, led by FFAR, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research. The session, entitled Food Waste to Food Security and Beyond: Identifying Research Gaps Across the Food System, pulled together a broad swath of thought leaders from government, NGOs, academia and business to focus on challenges, innovations, and advances in reducing food waste. FFAR has a specific interest in exploring high impact research opportunities related to inefficiencies in food production, food waste prevention and reduction methods, food waste measurement and reporting methodologies, and alternative uses for food waste (better stated, excess food resources with value). FFAR’s goal – achieving actionable outcomes through its research – is attractive..
LeanPath has been recognized by the World Resources Institute (WRI) as one of its “Friends of Champions,” a group of purpose-driven organizations working to halve global food waste by 2030.
World Food Day is October 16. Leaders from the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organization (UNFAO) will gather in Rome along with Agriculture Ministers from the G7 nations, leaders from the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and Pope Francis to celebrate the occasion, which commemorates the 1945 founding of FAO as the overseer of global food security issues.
Last week LeanPath participated in Food Tank’s NYC Summit on Preventing Food Loss and Food Waste. Coming on the heels of July’s Food Waste Fair in Brooklyn, we are excited to see growing momentum behind food waste reduction in the Big Apple.
The Summit brought together a diverse group of innovators and thinkers from multiple sectors – culinary, non-profits, NGO’s, government, and business. Five key panel discussions were held, focusing on developing partnerships, addressing opportunities, financing, fighting food waste in cities, and creating a waste and loss-free world. Woven throughout these discussions were critical themes of awareness, education, behavior change, design, innovation, financing, regulation, recovery, circular economy, and solutions.
One thing was clear: All of the participants were clearly united around the common objective of driving food waste prevention forward.
The positive vibe and high energy level emanating from working on such an important challenge never waned throughout the day’s packed schedule, and three clear takeaways emerged:
“Missing Food, Missing Data” report suggests we have a long way to go in good data collection.
Awareness of the scale of the global food waste problem has been on the rise in recent years, which is a good thing, as most estimates of the amount of food lost or wasted annually without being consumed by humans range from 30% to 50% of total production. That’s neither acceptable nor sustainable.
The United Nations has addressed this problem through Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, which calls for a 50% cut in per capita food waste at the retail and consumer levels. This is a worthy goal, as food waste carries deep externalities in terms of lost nutrition, wasted resource inputs, soil depletion, water pollution, and air pollution through greenhouse gas emissions as food decays in landfills. Stunningly, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that if ranked as a country, food waste would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions.