Global food waste reduction programme

WRAP has signed an exciting partnership agreement with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) to work together to develop a plan for a global food waste reduction programme. This includes supporting a new global campaign : Think.Eat.Save.

The new Think.Eat.Save. Reduce Your Footprint campaign to reduce food waste around the world was launched on the 22nd January in Geneva by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO); in partnership with WRAP, Feeding the 5000, and many other supporters. The campaign is part of the SAVE FOOD Initiative of FAO and the trade fair organiser Messe Düsseldorf.  The campaign specifically targets food wasted by consumers, retailers and food manufacturers and the hospitality industry.

Worldwide Food Waste Problem

Worldwide about one-third of all food produced – equivalent to 1.3 billion tonnes – gets lost or wasted in the food production and consumption systems, according to data released by FAO.  Wasting food means wasting money both at the household level and in businesses throughout the supply chain – around US$1 trillion worldwide.

“In a world of seven billion people, set to grow to nine billion by 2050, wasting food makes no sense – economically, environmentally and ethically,” said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

“Aside from the cost implications, all the land, water, fertilizers and labour needed to grow that food is wasted – not to mention the generation of greenhouse gas emissions produced by food decomposing on landfill and the transport of food that is ultimately thrown away,” he added. “To bring about the vision of a truly sustainable world, we need a transformation in the way we produce and consume our natural resources.”

Simple actions by consumers and retailers can dramatically cut the food lost or wasted each year.  The average UK family could save £700 per year, the UK hospitality sector could save £724 million per year by tackling food waste and the value of waste in the manufacture and retail of food and drink in the UK is £5bn.  

“In the UK we have shown how tackling food waste through engaging with consumers and establishing collective agreement with retailers and brands, reduces environmental pressures and aids economic growth,” said Dr. Liz Goodwin, CEO of WRAP. “With a rising population, even more pressure is going to be put on resources, and we are excited to be a partner in UNEP and FAO’s Think. Eat. Save. campaign, which is a great start to tackling food waste on a global scale.”

Together we can tackle it

This campaign can make a huge difference, if everybody gets involved.  There are plenty of initiatives flourishing already around the globe. This campaign is also a way to link them together and to share tips, experiences and good practice.

The campaign website, www.thinkeatsave.org, allows users to make food waste pledges and provides a platform for those running campaigns to exchange ideas and create a truly global culture of sustainable consumption of food.

WRAP has a wealth of resources available to support this work – businesses can find research and guidance at www.wrap.org.uk/food and consumers can find a wealth of tips at www.lovefoodhatewaste.com

We all need to THINK about and be mindful of our food consumption patterns, we all need to EAT, and we all need to SAVE food, especially in developed countries and among the middle classes of the developing ones. If we can ‘Reduce our Foodprint’, we can reduce humanity’s impact on our planet.
Visit www.thinkeatsave.org and www.fao.org/save-food.