The UN Aims to Reduce Food Waste to Achieve Sustainable Development

According to FAO, approximately one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted. In industrialized countries, where consumers’ behaviour plays a crucial role, the food losses and wastes amounts to almost US$ 680 billion. That’s pretty impressive, isn’t it?

Food waste has a very negative impact on food security, use of natural resources and the environment. For this reason, important actors such as the UN but also the civil society are contributing to tackle this issue. Among the challenging objectives adopted on the occasion of the 2015 United Nations Sustainable Development Summit, there is the will to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer level by 2030, and reduce food losses along the food production and supply chains. This ambitious goal is a key element of the UN’s broaden mission to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns (Goal 12 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development).

Since the Rio Earth Summit of 1992, sustainable production and consumption (SPC), together with poverty eradication and the management of natural resources, has been considered fundamental to achieve sustainable development.

But what is exactly SPC?

According to the United Nations Environment Programme Handbook for Policymakers, SPC is about fulfilling the needs of all while using fewer resources, including energy and water, and producing less waste and pollution. SPC involves both policies to improve production and to help consumers being aware about the sustainable consumption choices they can make.

Due to the complexity and variety of topics involved in SPC it is easy to understand why numerous stakeholders should be involved in order for it to be effective: government, private sectors, educators and consumers. Particularly, when it comes to tackling the food waste challenge, the role that each individual can play is of extreme importance.

By adopting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development the UN has made a step forward in reducing food waste and supporting sustainable development. What about you? Would you like to join this important cause? Download Froodly’s food waste app if you wish to help reduce food waste in Finland!

Alice Moretti

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