Global Food Waste
May 8th, 2014
Clementine O’Connor
UNEP Sustainable Food Systems Consultant
The Food Security Challenge
• About 870 million people – just over 15 percent of the world’s
population – are undernourished today.
• In 2009, the world produced 2831 cal/person per day, which is enough
to feed the planet.
• At the same time, at least one third or 1.3 billion tonnes of food is
waste every year
• By 2050, the world’s population will reach 9 billion people –
eliminating food waste is a critical to global food security strategy
World of Waste
World of Waste
• Between 2007 and 2008, China wasted an estimated 50 million tonnes
of food protein, which is enough to feed 200 million people.
• South Korea estimated that in 2012, the 50 million Koreans generate
up to 170,000 tonnes of food waste daily, or about 350 grams (over 12
ounces) per person per day.
The annual loss of economic value exceeds $1.5 billion.
• In the US, around 40 % of all food goes to waste each year. The cost
is estimated at $195 billion per year (including $40 billion for
households).[source: NDRC]
Food waste is water, energy, pesticides…
• In the UK, £1 billion-worth of the food wasted annually is food still « in date »
and so perfectly edible ($1,5 bn).
=> If this quantity of food was not wasted, the saving in energy consumed in its
production, packaging and transport would be the equivalent of taking
20% of cars off the road in the country.
• Water needed to grow:
1kg of apples: 822 litres
250 ml milk: 255 litres
1kg of chicken meat: 4,325 litres
1kg of beef: 15,415 litres
Nb: These figures are average: water consumption depends on climate, variety, agricultural
practices, length of growing season and degree of onward processing.
Food waste is money
• French people throw away 20 kilos of food every year, representing
between 500 to 1500 euros per year ($600-$1900). 1/3 is composed of
food products that are not even opened or consumed. [source: France Nature
• In the UK, average cost of food waste per household is £480 a year
($700), which accumulates to £15,000-24,000 over a lifetime ($22,500 $36,000).
• For the average U.S. household of four, food waste translates into an
estimated $1,350 to $2,275 in annual losses [Source: quoted in NDRC issue Paper
(August 2012). Bloom, American Wasteland, 187]
• Nb: methodologies used to evaluate economic cost are different according to countries and
sources, which means that figures cannot be compared directly.
The Vision: Zero Hunger Challenge
• Element 5: Zero lost or wasted food
• UNEP co-leads responsibility for this challenge
• Implementation via the Think.Eat.Save initiative
The Approach
Delivering tools: Guidance for reducing food
waste in businesses and households
• Guidance for public authorities, businesses and
other organisations on mapping, planning and
delivering effective food waste prevention strategy
• To be published in late May
• To be piloted in selected countries/cities worldwide
– contact us for further information about piloting
Come and pick up your copy of the Executive
Summary at the Think.Eat.Save stand!
Communication: The Think.Eat.Save. Campaign
• Multi-lingual campaign of the SAVE FOOD Initiative
• Launched in January 2013
• A partnership between UNEP, FAO and Messe Düsseldorf, and
in support of the UN Secretary-General’s Zero Hunger Challenge
•Seeks to:
 galvanize widespread global, regional and national actions
 catalyze more sectors of society to be aware and to act
connect food waste prevention to food security,
ecosystems impact, climate change and sustainable
consumption and production
The Campaign: Think.Eat.Save.
• Raise awareness on food waste prevention
• Inspire action
• Share best practice
The website
• One stop shop for news and resources
• Showcases ideas and examples
• Launches call for public action
The Campaign: First Year Results
• Over 160,000 visitors to the English website alone
• Monthly average Twitter reach of 5 million
• 92 articles were published, 30 blogs and colossal amount of
Food Waste related information also published in terms of
videos, tips, facts and figures as well as infographics
• An estimated 26,589 articles and references to Think.Eat.Save
and WED were published online between 1 and 10 June 2013
in UN languages.
The Campaign: World Environment Day 2013
• Food waste key theme of World Environment Day, June 5th 2013
• WED website reached 1 million visits in month of June alone
• WED was amongst the top 10 most talked about topics in
Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Guatemala, India,
Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, Spain, South Africa
and Venezuela on June 5th
• In India #ThinkEatSave was the number 1 topic of social media
conversations for the duration of June 5th
• Policy influencers adopting WED messaging included Najib Razak
(Malaysian PM), Nelson Mandela (Notable UN voices included
Christiana Figueres, Valerie Amos, and Helen Clark)
The Campaign: Other notable events
700 high level delegates dined on Food Grown in Kenya But
Rejected by UK Supermarkets for Cosmetic Reasons (February
2013 in Nairobi)
• The Annakshetra Foundation fed 9200 People on Leftover
Food from Wedding Parties in Jaipur (India, May 13)
• Feeding the 5000 - OzHarvest – Think.Eat.Save events across
Austrialia (Jul 13)
• Tesco Poland launched a competition to Help Schools
Think.Eat.Save! (Oct 2013)
The Campaign: Other notable events
Think.Eat.Save Goodwill
Ambassador Giselle
Bündchen shares key
campaign messages on
cooking segment of NBC
Today Show, reaching
estimated 4.6 million viewers
The Campaign: First Year Findings
• Goodwill Ambassadors were a huge boost to the campaign,
through their own social media channels, event organization
and engaging with the public via Expert of the Day
• Food waste experts around the world supported the campaign
by engaging the public through various forums, online
platforms, articles for the website and UNEP’s Our Planet
• Social media was a strong driver for the campaign, partners
and supporters helping to proliferate campaign messages
This is only the beginning…
Please join us to Think Eat Save!
Clementine O’Connor
[email protected]
This is only the beginning…
Please join us to Think Eat Save!
Clementine O’Connor
[email protected]

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