A newly released report has assessed the world’s progress toward Target 12.3 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which has called on all nations to halve food waste and reduce food loss by 2030. The report recommends nations, cities and businesses in the food supply chain move quickly to set reduction targets, measure progress and take action to reduce food loss and waste.
The publication, SDG Target 12.3 on Food Loss and Waste: 2016 Progress Report, was released on behalf of Champions 12.3, a global coalition of government, business and civil leaders who are dedicated to inspiring ambition, mobilizing action, and accelerating progress toward achieving SDG Target 12.3.
One-third of all food produced is never eaten by people, and there is a tremendous impact felt worldwide due to this loss and waste. Food loss and waste is responsible for $940 billion in economic losses, as well as 8 percent of greenhouse gas emissions annually, yet 42 million Americans, including more than 6 million children, still do not have enough food to eat.
US-based Champions include Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Kellogg Company Chairman of the Board and CEO John Bryant, Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute Shenggen Fan, former White House Chef Sam Kass, Campbell Soup Company President and CEO Denise Morrison, Oxfam America President Raymond Offenheiser, The Rockefeller Foundation President Judith Rodin, World Resources Institute President and CEO Andrew Steer and Natural Resources Defense Council President Rhea Suh.
The report reveals that the U.S. government and U.S.-based organizations have taken a number of notable steps over the past yearto reduce food loss and waste, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcing the U.S. 2030 Food Loss and Waste Reduction Goal,
and the Rockefeller Foundation launching YieldWise, a $130 million investment to demonstrate practical approaches to halving food loss and waste by 2030.
The enormous scope of the food loss and waste challenge requires the United States and other developed countries to do much more than they have already demonstrated, and the report offers three recommendations for leaders to meet Target 12.3 by 2030:
The report recommends that every country, major city and company involved in the food supply chain should set food loss and waste reduction targets.
Governments and companies are also recommended to begin quantifying and reporting on food loss and waste and monitor progress over time through 2030.
Finally, governments and companies are encouraged to accelerate and scale up adoption of policies, incentives, investments and practices that reduce food loss and waste.