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Unit: 1. Definition of food waste FoRWaRD



h) Quantity planning for food services.
Food services, both public and private, are a second major source of food waste as:
food is usually precooked, based on consumption prediction and can’t be kept for a long time;
and consumers are usually served standard plates, usually larger than their eating needs. In
order to reduce food waste, food services are taking actions, such as only what is still
available when getting closer to the closing hour, cooking everything on demand or offering
better sized portions. Preventing consumers from ordering more than they can eat or offering
boxes for leftovers can significantly reduce food wastage.

i) Consumption habits
In developed countries, a significant part of total food wastage occurs at consumer
level, and in some countries, this is a trend that continues to rise. In France, it is estimated that
food wastage has doubled since 1947. Potential explanations range from increasing
urbanization, consumer detachment from the reality of producing food (time, labor and
environmental costs), retail practices that encourage overbuying (such as buy-one-get-one-
free offers) to the fact that food occupies a decreasing place in the household budget, from 38
percent in 1960 to 25 percent in 2007 in France. This gives the impression that wasting food
is relatively cheap and has minor consequences. At the same time, the environmental cost of
generating food increases, as natural resources are getting scarce globally.



2. Extent of food losses and waste - Europe and other continents

2.1 Food volumes produced

Figure 1 illustrates the 2007 production volumes of all commodity groups in their
primary form, including animal feed products (which are then factored out using allocation
factors), in the regions of the world studied. The production volumes were compiled from the
FAO Statistical Yearbook 2009, except for the production volumes of oil crops and pulses
which were collected from FAO’s FBS, 2007.


Meat production in Industrialized Asia was dominated by large pig (around 46 million
ton) and chicken (around 12 million ton) production. Meat production in Europe was
dominated by pig (around 27 million ton) while it was more diversified in North America and
Oceania, with chicken (18 million ton), cattle (16 million ton) and pig (12 million ton).

In developing regions, meat in Latin America was dominated by large cattle (around
15 million ton) and chicken (around 17 million ton) production. Meat produced in South and
Southeast Asia mainly consisted of pig (7 million ton) and chicken (9 million ton). Animal
production in sub-Saharan Africa mostly consisted of cattle (around 4 million ton) and in
North Africa, West and Central Asia it was mostly chicken (around 4 million ton) production.

2.2 Extent of food losses and waste
Roughly one-third of the edible parts of food produced for human consumption gets
lost or wasted globally, which is about 1.3 billion ton per year. Food is wasted throughout the
FSC, from initial agricultural production down to final household consumption. In medium-
and high-income countries food is to a great extent wasted, meaning that it is thrown away
even if it is still suitable for human consumption. Significant food loss and waste do,



FORWARD-WP5-1. Definition of food waste
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