Consume with care: Food waste and the Sustainable Development Goals

Read the summary report of this Dialogue Session.

One third of all food globally produced – or 1.3 billion tons – is lost or wasted every year. Forty-six percent of this wastage occurs at the retailer or consumer level. If measures are not taken, food waste is projected to rise in the future. Food waste and losses are intolerable at a time where 795 million people are chronically undernourished. In addition to this, both the associated greenhouse gas emissions and the extent of land, soil, water and energy resources used to produce food that are ultimately wasted are considerable. For example, in the year 2007, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), 28 percent the world’s agricultural land was allocated to crops that were lost or wasted. Approximately 250 km3 of water was wasted in growing these crops, and the economic costs amounted to US$ 750 billion.

Policymakers increasingly recognise the importance of reducing food loss and waste. Target 12.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) states that by 2030 per capita global food waste at retail and consumer level should be halved and food losses along production and supply chains reduced. The goal of reducing food waste is interconnected with other SDGs, including SDG 2 on food security and SDG 13 on climate change. This interactive forum discusses what measures and incentives are required to achieve SDG 12.3. The focus will be on food waste at the retail and consumer level. Case studies will examine what measures and best-practices already exist in developed and developing countries that could promote a significant reduction in food waste. The forum will also discuss how and what type of partnerships can facilitate the transformation to more sustainable consumption patterns.

Room: Jade

Welcome and Introduction
Interactive panel discussion: Food waste and the Sustainable Development Goals: Opportunities, Challenges, and Best Practices
Coffee Break
World Café: Achieving SDG Target 12.3 - What does it take?
Wrap Up and Outlook

Referenced sessions: