Gender and food loss in sustainable food value chains
This guiding note (PDF) by FAO aims to conceptualize and raise awareness on the nexus between gender equality and food loss while offering practical guidance on and tools for integrating gender concerns into the carrying out of food loss case studies and the planning and implementation of reduction strategies and interventions. By overlooking the importance of gender dynamics and operating gender-blind, food loss reduction may be less effective and even exacerbate gender inequalities along the food value chain. Linking key concepts from gender-sensitive value chain development and the issue of food loss, it emerges that gender inequalities affect the overall efficiency of the food value chain, from production to consumption, and generate a poor performance that may cause produce to be removed from the chain. In order to be effective and have a long-lasting impact, food loss reduction strategies and interventions must from the onset take into consideration the underlying socio-cultural factors and systematically integrate gender equality concerns. This guiding note suggests a four-step approach for gender-responsive food loss reduction including practical tools for its implementation: (1) Gender-sensitive value chain mapping and the locating of critical loss points; (2) Identification of gender-based constraints linked to food losses; (3) Identification of entry points and solutions for gender-responsive food loss reduction; and (4) Verification and social risk assessment of the proposed solutions to food loss.