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Food loss and waste reduction

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food loss and wasteA substantial proportion of the food produced for human consumption is lost through decreases in its quantity or quality, or wasted through being discarded when still fit for consumption. Food losses and waste have negative impacts on the environment, natural resource sustainability, and food and nutrition security.

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They also represent a loss of economic value for actors in the food supply chain. Value addition through processing and preservation is one of the avenues for reducing food loss and mitigating its negative effects. A wide range of challenges limit value addition by small and medium agro- industries in developing countries. These include lack of adequate infrastructure, logistics and cold chain systems, which are crucial for avoiding losses of highly perishable products such as fish, fruits, milk and meat.

  • Conducting case studies to analyse the extent and causes of food losses and to identify solutions that are economically, socially and environmentally suitable.
  • Preparing and disseminating information materials to raise awareness on the problem of food losses and waste.
  • Providing support and guidance for the formulation and implementation of national and regional strategies and programmes to reduce food losses and waste.
  • Developing technical knowledge and building capacity in post-harvest handling, value-added processing and preservation, logistics systems and cold chains, targeting smallholder farmers and small and medium enterprises.
  • Appraising the status, constraints and successful models of logistics and cold chain systems, and preparing policy guidance on their development.

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Food loss and waste
Giorgio___ / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

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