Food Wasted, Food Lost

Will there be enough food for 9.6 billion people?

Population growth Billions

Global yield production trend and projections Tonnes per hectare



Increase required to meet future agriculture demand






Production trend and forecast







Least developed





0 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050

Source: UN Population Division, from van der Mensbrugghe etal. 2009

Source: Deepak, K. R., Yield Trends Are Insu cient to Double Global Crop Production by 2050, PLoS ONE, 2013

biocapacity. Ecosystem approaches are alternative approaches to food production that aim not only to maintain but also to improve the fertility and productivity of ecosystems. Such sustainable food production approaches are implemented to prevent soil erosion, improve soil fertility and enhance biological diversity. Ecosystem approaches in agriculture often include traditional practices such as conservation agriculture, crop rotation, inter-cropping and biological control of pests. For example, maize in rotation with soybean yields 5–20 per cent more than continuous crops of maize monocultures. Soil nitrogen levels have also been shown to increase by 6–14 kg/ha following a rotation of peas and wheat (Bullock 1992; Stevenson and van Kessel 1996). In forestry, sustainable forest management is a move away from the traditional focus of managing forests only for timber production, and towards management of a range of forest ecosystem services, including food production and wild food harvesting (MA 2005). Ecosystem approaches to fisheries include approaches such as Integrated Coastal Zone and Marine Protected Areas that all seek to ensure sustainable management of marine resources, including fish stocks to reduce overexploitation (UNEP 2011b). Food loss and food waste Much of the data on food loss do not include potential losses due to ecosystem degradation. About one-third, equivalent

to 1.3 billion tonnes, of all edible parts of food produced for human consumption are either lost or wasted (FAO 2013b). This is in addition to a far greater amount of non-food waste such as straw. Estimates by Smil (2001) as cited by Stuart (2009) show that as much as 4 600 kcal of agricultural food is harvested per day for every person on the planet, but around 2 000 kcal on average are consumed, implying that more than half of agricultural food products are lost or wasted along the food production and distribution chain. There is a clear variation between developing and developed countries with regards to food loss and waste. In developing countries, food loss is the greatest problem. It is estimated that over 75 per cent of the food loss and waste occur in developing countries before the food reaches the retailer, compared to 57 per cent in developed countries (Gustavsson et al. 2011b,c). This is typically due to poor capacity in developing countries to store, process and transport food as well as lack of access to markets (Moomaw et al. 2012). In sub-Saharan Africa alone, grain enough to feed 48 million people is lost every year (FAO 2012c). In developed countries, food waste at the retail and household levels is the biggest problem. Asmuch as 43 per cent of all loss and waste occur at this stage, compared to 25 per cent in developing countries (Gustavsson et al. 2011b,c). Food waste by consumers


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