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The State of Food and Agriculture 2019

The need to reduce food loss and waste is firmly embedded in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Food loss and waste reduction is considered important for improving food security and nutrition, promoting environmental sustainability and lowering production costs. However, efforts to reduce food loss and waste will only be effective if informed by a solid understanding of the problem. 

This report provides new estimates of the percentage of the world’s food lost from production up to the retail level. The report also finds a vast diversity in existing estimates of losses, even for the same commodities and for the same stages in the supply chain. Clearly identifying and understanding critical loss points in specific supply chains – where considerable potential exists for reducing food losses – is crucial to deciding on appropriate measures. The report provides some guiding principles for interventions based on the objectives being pursued through food loss and waste reductions, be they in improved economic efficiency, food security and nutrition, or environmental sustainability.