World Bank estimates third of food is wasted

THE WORLD BANK has estimated that the world wastes one-quarter to one-third of all food produced for human consumption in its most recent Food Price Watch report.

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The report states that the global community wastes a total of 11 billion metric tons every year. In developing countries suffering from extreme cases of undernourishment this wastage of food translates to 400 – 500 calories per person each day and in developed countries, such as Britain, as much as 1,520 calories per day.


Jim Yong Kim, President of the World Bank Group, said “The amount of food wasted and lost globally is shameful.


Millions of people around the world go to bed hungry every night, and yet millions of tons of food end up in trash cans or spoiled on the way to market.”


South and Southeast Asia is reported to waste a quarter of all global food with 87% lost in production, storage and transport, whereas in North America and Oceania almost 61% of food is wasted by consumers.


Yong Kim emphasised the need to step up and take action now to stop the colossal amount of food being wasted. In developed countries there are many simple solutions available to become more sustainable such as using reseal-able containers and encouraging businesses and consumers to be more responsible. In developing countries more complex solutions are needed though such as investing more in infrastructure.


This relates to another Footprint news story earlier this year on WRAPs new report about the amount the hospitality and catering sector wastes. It included facts and figures to shock businesses into taking action against their unsustainable approaches.