Studies: Food Waste (WWF & REFRESH)

GOAL: Halve food waste by 2030% by 50

Author: Boris Brass
On the 8. January 2018 we have you over the REFOWAS study, whose closing conference will take place in mid-March this year. In the following we want you two more international studies on food waste imagine. Both the WWF study from the year 2015 as well as the still running REFRESH study The purpose is to design sustainable development goals for all stakeholders - policy makers, business and consumers - which the Halve food waste by 2030% by 50 should. That is also the stated goal of the Federal Government. However, there is still no concrete plan to implement this ambitious goal.

There are no standards of detection and allocation of global food waste.

Global food waste is a problem with far-reaching consequences - for the environment (Emissions, waste of resources, etc.), for the economy (Sustainability, profitability, etc.), for politics (as a link of all actors, as a partner of international treaties such as the Paris Climate Agreement, etc.), and last but not least ethical problem in the face of more than a billion starving people worldwide. Although there have been many food waste studies in the past, one is basic meta-analysis of the problem difficultbecause methods and premises for measuring food waste vary from study to study. There are no standards of detection and allocation of global food waste. The REFRESH and WWF studies build on and integrate the results of previous studies, and together they provide the most up-to-date state of research (with the final REFRESH results not being published until the 2019 study is completed). The most important facts of both studies:

190kg land per capita every year

Food waste SirPlusIt is estimated that worldwide between 30% and 40% of all food in the dustbin land, in the industrialized countries of it almost half by the end user, According to the study between 11 and 18, these are millions of tons of food in Germany alone. In other words: 190 kg per person per year. According to the European Commission (Stand 2015), one of the key partners in the REFRESH study, is dumping millions of tons of food across Europe through 100, a figure that is elusive. Perhaps it is easier to understand, if you realize that this amount could feed all starving people in the world twice.

If the waste in the emerging markets is mainly due to infrastructural problems (crop and process losses), the situation is reversed in the western industrialized countries: hardly any food is lost through harvesting and processing, the bulk of the food waste falls on the large consumers (gastronomy, company kitchens, etc .), Warehousing and logistics, wholesaling and retailing and the end user.

The individual is in demand

Food Waste WWF study

Consumers like to blame all evils on politics or unrestrained economic interests. And there is no doubt that the federal government and its European counterparts are in urgent need of action in view of the immense food waste in the EU, the pressure to bring about a change is growing with each study. Not only the 143 billions of euros, which are thrown into Europe every year in the "garbage"but also the fact that the food waste third largest cause of carbon dioxide emissions are forcing action if the 2017 Paris Climate Agreement is not to remain a footnote in history.

The same applies to the economy, after all, go 60% of food lost along the value chain. The WWF estimates that harvest and post-harvest losses (storage, logistics) and losses in food processing can hardly be avoided; but both make up only a small proportion. Much of the waste could be avoided among the large consumers (70%) and the wholesale and retail trade (90%). Especially with the latter two is one of the sticking points of the problem.

Due to consumer expectations of freshness and availability, the look and texture of food, supermarkets often throw away what is actually still edible; systematic overproduction ensures that the shelves are always full. The consumer's expectation of the "optimal product" forces the wholesale and retail trade to act accordingly. The best before date (MHD), which guarantees the aesthetic quality of the food, is in fact not an expiry date, in most cases the product is still edible for weeks to years (we will cover the MHD and the actual shelf life of food elsewhere in more detail ). With an estimated 40% form the Individual consumers are the largest group within the spectrum of food waste. The tonnage of avoidable losses in cereal products and fruit and vegetables is particularly high, and potatoes and milk products are also lost to a considerable extent.
The Main reasons for consumer loss:

  • Bad purchase planning;
  • Wrong storage;
  • Waste during meal preparation;
  • MHD has expired;
  • Leftovers that are not recycled.

Instead of waiting for the big solution of politics and economics, everyone can contribute to tackling the problem of food waste.

Ecological footprint as big as Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Food Waste WWF study
The ecological footprint is the area on earth that is necessary to permanently enable a person's lifestyle and standard of living. In addition to the area needed for the production of food and clothing or for binding the carbon dioxide released by human activity, this also includes parameters such as energy consumption and waste disposal. In Germany, all avoidable foods were Saving 320 square meters of space per person, in total more than the area of ​​the federal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. In other words, more than 2,6 millions of hectares are farmed "for free", almost 48 millions of tons of greenhouse gases are emitted. Of the 18 millions of tons of food discarded each year, the WWF estimates that nearly 10 million tonnes could be saved, significantly reducing the environmental footprint. Reducing food losses not only saves the climate, but also saves valuable resources such as water and fuel.

WWF study (June 2015):

REFRESH study (July 2015 - June 2019):

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