Executive summary

Food wastage is a serious problem. Around the world, on an annual basis, approximately one third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted. The mass of food lost or wasted totals around 1.3 billion tons per year and has significant impacts on greenhouse gas emissions, ecosystem degradation, freshwater consumption and land use. Food is lost within the supply chain, and wasted inside consumers’ homes, manufacturers and foodservice establishments.

The issue of food wastage is becoming more prevalent in the public mind. High-profile publicity campaigns, news articles, books, and documentaries are contributing to increased public awareness of the issue and a desire on the part of the public for action. The recent “Save Food Congress 2014,” held in partnership with UN organizations FAO and UNEP at the Interpack trade show, was an opportunity to discuss the issue of food wastage and exchange solutions to the problem.

Food brands that embrace the campaign to reduce food wastage have the opportunity to burnish their reputations. Packaging is a key component of food waste reduction and is the key channel through which consumers get information about a company’s food wastage reduction efforts.