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Food Wastage

Recently, many international, European and Dutch research institutes, government actors, businesses and organizations have picked up on the theme of Food Wastage. In relation to their work, which is sometimes also based on  general studies, often a positive effect on food security is claimed. Suggested is that a reduction of food wastage could have positive effects on access to food, which could considerably contribute to the world hunger problem. As such, the F&BKP has initiated an inventory study that examines to what extent those claims can be endorsed. It will map the effects of wastage reduction on food and nutrition security (via environment, prices, etc.), in the short and long term.

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Food Wastage is a theme on the knowledge agenda of the F&BKP. The term ‘wastage’ is used to indicate food losses and waste throughout the whole value chain. Following the definition of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), food losses refers to food that – during its movement along the food supply chain – is unintentionally spilled, spoiled, or is otherwise lost or incurs a reduction in quality before it reaches its final product or retail stage. Meanwhile, food waste refers to food that is consciously not consumed, because it is discarded.

For many years already, various studies, in particular from the FAO, show that roughly one-third of food is either lost or wasted throughout the value chain from land to consumer. This indicates that reduction of food wastage could have a considerable impact on the efficiency of the food system. Such an impact can affect all actors of  ‘the golden quadrangle’, i.e. business, science, civil society and policy, and has caused many actors to give Food Wastage a higher priority on their agendas in recent years.

Yet, despite many interventions, there is little known about the broader effects (economically, ecologically, socially, short and long term, etc.), of wastage reduction, in particular on people in developing markets.

The F&BKP will explore existing evidence of the effects of the reduction of wastage on food and nutrition security, and will draw conclusions on best practices and/or knowledge gaps. For the period between March and May 2014, the F&BKP has contracted two food security professionals to conduct a study on the relation of food wastage and food security. The study will give an overview of Dutch and related actors working in the field of food wastage and food inefficiencies, and explore the relation of their work with food and nutrition security. The study will provide recommendations on further research and knowledge and/or policy interventions in the field of food wastage in order to strengthen food security.

Recent Food Wastage articles
Learnings from the Food Connection Challenge
March 8, 2017News
Learnings from the Food Connection Challenge
By: Niek van Dijk Theme: Food Wastage

The Food Connection Challenge (FCC), an initiative of BoPInc and Crosswise Works facilitated by the F&BKP and IBA, was launched as a business-led response to postharvest losses in Ghana. In this blogpost learnings from organizing this Challenge, including good practices, are shared to inform similar initiatives. »

Tackling food loss - Drivers for change
December 22, 2016Study
Tackling food loss – Drivers for change
By: F&BKP Office Theme: Food Wastage

Many projects and initiatives worldwide are aiming for the reduction of food loss. Companies, governments or NGOs involved may find inspiration in similar existing initiatives and experiences elsewhere in the world. The brochure “Tackling food loss – Drivers for change” presents the results of an inventory study on how agro-food chains can be optimized or better organized to prevent food losses. »

Team Edanso wins Food Connection Challenge
November 11, 2016News
Team Edanso wins Food Connection Challenge
By: F&BKP Office Theme: Food Wastage

On November 5, 2016, the Food Connection Challenge (FCC) Final took place at the Afrikadag in Amsterdam. Dutch students pitched their innovative business solutions, developed to address postharvest issues of Ghanaian companies. The teams used the innovative expertise of Dutch entrepreneurs to support their business cases and aimed at adapting these technologies to the Ghanaian »

CFS 43 Side Event
October 29, 2016Knowledge activity
CFS 43 Side Event “Reduction of food losses and waste in cities”
By: F&BKP Office Theme: Food Wastage

How to tackle food waste and losses in our cities, which will increase drastically the coming decennia? How to connect the producers from the rural areas in a fair and sustainable way with the city consumers? This is an interesting topic with beautiful examples that inspire and need to be shared among each other. On »

Fruitful kick-off Food Connection Challenge
September 28, 2016Knowledge activity
Fruitful kick-off Food Connection Challenge
By: F&BKP Office Theme: Food Wastage

“What a waste!”: is the first thought that comes to mind when you realize that in many food industries up to 40% of food produce gets wasted due to postharvest issues. The Food Connection Challenge (FCC) focuses on fit-to-purpose solutions for postharvest losses in Ghana. »

Food Connection Challenge harvests first results
June 29, 2016News
Food Connection Challenge harvests first results
By: F&BKP Office Theme: Food Wastage

The Food Connection Challenge (FCC) has generated much interest with Ghanaian food entrepreneurs, since postharvest losses are a serious threat for many producers and entrepreneurs in Ghanaian value chains. The FCC is an initiative of Crosswise Works and BoP Innovation Center, realized with a grant of the Food & Business Knowledge Platform. The FCC aims »

Winning NWO student battle project The SunBarter has started
May 26, 2016News
Winning NWO student battle project The SunBarter has started
By: F&BKP Office Theme: Food Wastage

In October 2014, the the innovative solution “Back to the basics: establishing a trade by barter food network with dried fruits and vegetables in Nigeria” won WOTRO’s Battle of Ideas. The SunBarter project team has now successfully finalized their first pilot phase in Kaduna State, Nigeria. »

Launch of the Food Connection Challenge
May 24, 2016News
Launch of the Food Connection Challenge
By: F&BKP Office Theme: Food Wastage

Crosswise Works and BoP Innovation Center initiated a business-student challenge that focuses on fit-to-purpose solutions for postharvest food losses in Ghana. The Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP) has awarded a grant to organize this Food Connection Challenge. »

Successful Wicked World – Bee Collective session in Nairobi on reduction of potato losses
December 1, 2015Knowledge activity
Successful Wicked World – Bee Collective session in Nairobi on reduction of potato losses
By: F&BKP Office Theme: Food Wastage

On November 20, 2015, Bee Collective, Wicked Problems Plaza, Postharvest Network and the F&BKP organized a Wicked World – Bee Collective session titled, “Potato losses, Value chain efficiency and Food security” in the Nailab, an innovation hub for social businesses in Nairobi, Kenya. »

Future applicability of effective “Drivers for Change” to reduce postharvest food losses
November 26, 2015News
Future applicability of effective “Drivers for Change” to reduce postharvest food losses
By: F&BKP Office Theme: Food Wastage

The F&BKP Office has contracted the Food & Biobased Research institute of Wageningen University to conduct a study on “Drivers for Change” that focus on reducing postharvest food losses and improving food value chains. »

Potato losses, value chain efficiency and food security
November 5, 2015News
Potato losses, value chain efficiency and food security
By: F&BKP Office Theme: Food Wastage

The Wicked World – Bee Collective session co-organized by the F&BKP and Postharvest Network on November 20, 2015 in Kenya, forms part of the Bee Collective Festival in which different wicked problems will be addressed on several locations all over the world. »

Agrofood supply chain efficiency for food and nutrition security
July 2, 2015News
Agrofood supply chain efficiency for food and nutrition security
By: F&BKP Office Theme: Food Wastage

The international conference No More Food to Waste – Global action to stop food losses and food waste – was held in The Hague, the Netherlands from June 16-19, 2015. It brought together global leaders from international agencies, businesses, investment groups, research institutions and civil society. During the symposium they could share their experiences and »

F&BKP and Postharvest Network present at No More Food to Waste Conference
June 15, 2015Knowledge activity
F&BKP and Postharvest Network present at No More Food to Waste Conference
By: F&BKP Office Theme: Food Wastage

The Netherlands, together with the FAO, is organizing the international conference No More Food to Waste – Global action to stop food waste and food losses, held from June 16 till June 19, 2015 in the World Forum convention center in The Hague, the Netherlands. The Food & Business Knowledge Platform (F&BKP) and the Postharvest Network (PHN) »

Launch of the Dutch Postharvest Network
December 18, 2014News
Launch of the Dutch Postharvest Network
By: Postharvest Net... Theme: Food Wastage

On December 4, 2014 the Postharvest Network was launched during a kick off event in the Hof van Wageningen. The Postharvest Network aims to reduce food losses by implementing practical and proven solutions in the food supply chain of fresh products. It is a network of Dutch specialized companies, knowledge institutes like Wageningen University and »

Winning team Battle of Ideas focuses on Food Security - Reducing Food Waste
October 17, 2014News
Winning team Battle of Ideas focuses on Food Security – Reducing Food Waste
By: F&BKP Office Theme: Food Wastage

As part of the celebration of WOTRO’s 50th anniversary, WOTRO organized the Battle of Ideas. To enter the competition, students had to form a multidisciplinary team and jointly develop a social innovative solution for a specific global challenge. At the conference on Wednesday October 15, three teams with creative ideas competed in the final round »

Initiatives to combat food wastage: a waste of time?
July 18, 2014Expert opinion
Initiatives to combat food wastage: a waste of time?
By: Vanessa Nigten Theme: Food Wastage

The recently published F&BKP report on food wastage shows that a significant decline in food wastage will not automatically improve food security. There may be a positive impact on resource efficiency and general food availability in the long term but aspects such as food access, utilization and stability in developing countries will not improve at »

F&BKP Report “Reducing food wastage, improving food security?”
July 3, 2014Study
F&BKP Report “Reducing food wastage, improving food security?”
By: Vanessa Nigten Theme: Food Wastage

Within the F&BKP an inventory study on the relation between the reduction of food wastage and the improvement of food security has been conducted. Please find below the link to the full report and the summary of the study “Reducing food wastage, improving food security?”. Download the F&BKP Report “Reducing food wastage, improving food security?” »

Food wastage overview of networks and information
July 2, 2014Study
Food wastage overview of networks and information
By: Vanessa Nigten Theme: Food Wastage

In the Food & Business Knowledge Platform an overview in a mind map has been composed of networks and information in the field of food losses and waste. The mind map shown below is indicative and non-exhaustive. Please feel free to suggest additions to the overview by sending an e-mail to *protected email*. How to navigate the »

HLPE Report on food losses and waste
July 1, 2014Study
HLPE Report on food losses and waste
By: F&BKP Office Theme: Food Wastage

The issue of global food losses and waste has recently received much attention and has been given high visibility. According to FAO, almost one-third of food produced for human consumption – approximately 1.3 billion tonnes per year – is either lost or wasted globally: their reduction is now presented as essential to improve food security »