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Food waste - counting the costs

11/09/13
The Food Ethics Council welcomes the FAO’s new report on the environmental impact of food waste, Food wastage footprint: Impacts on natural resources.
Food waste - counting the costs

The report highlights the damaging impact on the world’s natural resources of throwing away food. It points out that globally we waste one third of all our food; in developing countries primarily at the agricultural stage and in developed countries more so from post production through to the consumer.

Dan Crossley, Executive Director of the Food Ethics Council, said:

“This new attempt to comprehensively count the environmental costs of food waste is yet another dramatic wake up call for all of us, from governments to individuals, to take steps to cut avoidable food waste. It highlights the need for intervention right through the food chain, from helping farmers get their food to markets more efficiently to encouraging people to change their buying and eating habits.

“We’re also pleased to see that behind the headlines this report suggests some really useful practical measures that everyone engaged in the food chain – from farm to fork – can take. And it offers some persuasive incentives too, pointing out that reducing food waste makes a positive contribution to environmental sustainability, economic improvements and food security.

“But eliminating food waste isn’t just important for our environment and our economies. It’s also a matter of social justice. A world where 1.3 bn people are overweight or obese and 0.9 bn are malnourished is not a fair world. Tackling our throw-away food culture would go some way to addressing those stark inequalities.”

Notes to editors

  1. The FAO/UNEP  Food wastage footprint: Impacts on natural resources report is published today.
  2. The Food Ethics Council is an independent think tank and charity whose vision is a world where all eat healthily and sustainably, enjoying food that is produced and traded fairly and humanely. To do that we promote ethical considerations in relation to decisions about food and farming and facilitate deliberative thinking and bold action for a fair food system.