An estimated one-third of all food is lost or wasted worldwide.
Photo: © FAO/Jonathan Bloom / FAO

Global Standard to Measure Food Loss and Waste

A new international framework to empower businesses, governments and other organisations to measure, report on and manage food loss and waste was launched in June 2016. Food loss and waste globally costs up to USD 940 billion per year and generates about 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

A partnership of international organisations launched the Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard in June 2016. FLW Standard is a set of global definitions and reporting requirements for companies, countries and others to consistently and credibly measure, report on and manage food loss and waste.

The Food Loss and Waste Protocol is a multi-stakeholder partnership convened by the World Resources Institute. FLW Protocol partners include: The Consumer Goods Forum, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), EU-funded FUSIONS project, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), WRAP (The Waste and Resources Action Programme) and World Resources Institute.

International momentum to curb food loss and waste is growing with governments and businesses making commitments to address this issue. However, most do not know how much food is lost or wasted or where it occurs within their borders, operations or supply chains. Moreover, the definition of food loss and waste varies widely and without a consistent accounting and reporting framework it has been difficult to compare data and develop effective strategies.

FLW Standard aims to help governments and companies meet international commitments

Creating inventories in conformance with the FLW Standard is a critical foundation to develop effective strategies for reducing food loss and waste and monitor progress over time. Moreover, it can help governments and companies meet international commitments, including the Paris Agreement on climate change and UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In particular, SDG Target 12.3 calls for a 50 percent global reduction in food waste by 2030, along with reductions in food loss.

The FLW Standard will also help reduce food loss and waste within the private sector. In 2015, The Consumer Goods Forum, which represents more than 400 of the world's largest retailers and manufacturers from 70 countries, adopted a resolution for its members to reduce food waste from their operations by 50 percent by 2025, with baselines and progress to be measured using the FLW Standard. Some leading companies, like Nestlé and Tesco, are already measuring and publicly reporting on their food loss and waste.


More information:
The Food Loss and Waste Protocol

(UNEP/ile)