If we want to get serious about tackling food waste, we need to increase efforts to measure food and inedible parts wasted at retail and consumer level and track food waste generation in kilograms per capita at country level. Only with reliable data, we are going to be able to track progress on Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target 12.3, which aims at halving per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reducing food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses.
The United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) has published the Food Waste Index Report 2021. The Food Waste Index Report aims at supporting the goals of SDG 12.3 by presenting the most comprehensive food waste data collection, analysis and modeling to date, generating a new estimate of global food waste, and publishing a methodology for countries to measure food waste, at household, food service and retail level, to track national progress towards 2030 and to report on SDG 12.3.
The report estimates that food waste from households, retail establishments and the food service industry totals 931 million tonnes each year. Nearly 570 million tonnes of this waste occurs at the household level. The report also reveals that the global average of 74 kg per capita of food wasted each year is remarkably similar from lower-middle income to high-income countries, suggesting that most countries have room to improve.