HOW TO PREVENT FOOD WASTE
AT PRODUCER LEVEL?
Even if just one-fourth of the food currently lost or wasted globally could be saved, it would be enough to feed 870 million hungry people in the world.
Dutch people still throw away an average of 135 kilograms of food per person a year. That brings the total food waste for the Netherlands to a total of about 2 billion kilograms per year, which means that the government’s goal of reducing food waste by 20 percent was not reached, NOS reports.
Each year 40 percent of food in the United States never gets eaten, translating to $218 billion lost, which includes the cost of food wasted on the consumer level, retail, wasted water, energy, fertilizers, cropland, and production costs. 21 percent of the food each person buys goes to waste, with the average American family of four spending $1,500 per year on food that they throw away and each individual throwing away 24 pounds of food per month.
According to the researches from the British based independent institution of Mechanical Engineers, roughly 4.4 billion tons of food are wasted every year, which far exceeds the global demand for food. Food waste is costly; the UK as a whole pays for but does not eat £10.2 billion of good food each year. That’s £420 of avoidable food for the average household each year.
The National Waste Report 2010 by the Department of Environment, Water, Heritage, and the Arts estimated that 35% of municipal waste is food (equivalent to 2.675 million tonnes of household food waste).
Intermarche, the third largest supermarket chain in France decided to rehabilitate the non calibrated and imperfect fruits and vegetables. Consumers can buy fruits and vegetables %30 cheaper. With the EU imposing strict actions against food waste in 2014, Intermarché and Marcel Worldwide joined forces to alter consumers’ perceptions of imperfect fruits and vegetables. The supermarket bought from its growers the products they usually throw away, and sold them with a 30% discount. The campaign saw Intermarché’s store traffic increase by 24% and their sales of fruits and vegetables by 10%. The campaign was a national sensation, reaching over 13 million people in France.
In just five years, the country has slashed wasted food by 25%. Denmark, the country in the world with the fastest growing amount of food waste prevention and reduction initiatives, has achieved a national food waste reduction by 25% in 5 years.
Italy has passed a law to make supermarkets donate all their unsold food. In the Italian Senate aims to cut up to one million tonnes of wasted food a year by offering incentives to businesses who donate food to charities and starting new programmes to reduce food waste in schools, hospitals and other public canteens. The law earmarkes €10 million to launch the initiative, including €1 million annually to fund innovative food waste reduction projects, as well as €2 million to buy food for the poor.