Jepsen, D. et al.Developing instruments to avoid food waste

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Dirk Jepsen, Annette Vollmer, Ulrike Eberle, Jacob Fels & Thomas Schomerus 

Release date:
December 2016

German Federal Environmental Agency, texts 85/2016

In recent years the issue of food waste has received growing attention. In 2011, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) published data about the amount of global food waste which revealed that about 1.3 billion tons per year, or one-third of all food produced globally, is never eaten. At the same time, according to FAO estimates, more than 900 million people suffer chronic hunger. The losses of edible food are a central problem not only for moral and ethical reasons, but also from an environmental perspective. The production and processing of food entail serious environmental impacts which could be reduced significantly by lowering food loss rates.

Against this background, the project is the first to deliver a reliable estimate of the environmental impacts that result from losses during production, distribution, and consumption of food for and by the German population.

Based on an analysis of existing proposals and further possibilities for binding governmental action, specific measures are proposed that are suitable for effectively reducing relevant food waste and that can be realized by the Federal Environment Ministry in the context of the German Waste Prevention Program.

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