Home / Agricultural Economy / Agribusiness / INTERNATIONAL DAY OF AWARENESS FOR FOOD LOSS AND WASTE; 29 SEPTEMBER!

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF AWARENESS FOR FOOD LOSS AND WASTE; 29 SEPTEMBER!

The International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste is celebrated every year on September 29. It is a day to call to action for both the public and private sectors to prioritize actions and innovations to reduce food loss and waste in the World. This is all geared towards restoring and building back better and resilient-ready food systems. Reducing food losses and waste is of the utmost priority in a world where the number of people affected by hunger has been slowly on the rise since 2014, and tonnes of edible food are lost and/or wasted every day.

Food loss has been around since the beginning of time as things like spoilage couldn’t be well controlled then. Now we have the means to control a large part of spoilage but are still having food loss and wastage due to many reasons, from negligence to lack of the technical know-how, lots of things contribute to food loss and wastage.

Around 14% of food produced in the World is lost between harvest and retail, while an estimated 17% of total global food production is wasted, which comprises 11% in households, 5% in the food service, and 2% in retail. This amounts to global losses in agriculture of about 1.2 billion tonnes per year causing monetary losses in the field worth more than 350 million dollars annually. Saving just one-fourth of the food currently lost or wasted in the World could help feed 870 million people who are living in hunger as well as fight climate change as food loss and waste is responsible for about 8% of global greenhouse gas (G.H.G.) emissions, leading to a depletion of the ozone layer and causing climate change.

Food loss and waste greatly undermine the sustainability of our food systems as when food is lost or wasted, all resources used to produce it — including water, land, energy, labor, and capital go to waste. It also negatively impacts food security and food availability and contributes to increasing the cost of food. With all these, The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) was established in 1945 to defeat hunger in the World and they have made several strides towards achieving this, including meeting up in December 2019 to collectively establish a day for the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, of which September 29 was chosen.

About İsmail Uğural

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