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SAVE FOOD – Figure of the Month

The topical documentation service SAVE FOOD – Figure of the Month provides regular information on the latest data and findings in matters of food loss and food waste. Each issue highlights a selected focal area. This service is provided by the SAVE FOOD initiative.
$990 billion worth of food is lost and wasted on a global scale.1 This is approximately seven times the amount spent on development aid throughout the world in 2011/2012 – about $134 billion.2 To put this figure in perspective, Belgium’s state budget was just under $266 billion in 2012.3

Within the industrialised nations the amount of food that is wasted – i.e. thrown away but still edible – is worth about $680 billion. In the developing countries food loss amounts to about $310 billion.4 In Germany about 80 kg of food is thrown away per person per year, amounting to 6.6 million metric tonnes in the entire country or about
EUR 25 billion.5

These figures show that the need for food among the growing world population does not necessarily have to be coupled with a corresponding increase in production – and in a certain sense contradict the assumptions made by the Club of Rome: the latter assumes that the world’s need for food will have doubled by the mid-21st century – and
that the relevant production of resources will be overstretched on our planet by that time.6

“In view of the strain on resources it is always more efficient to limit losses along the entire value chain than to step up production. Recent studies by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have shown that avoiding food loss and food waste can help considerably in preventing the scenario described by the Club of Rome,” says Robert
van Otterdijk, FAO Agro-Industry Officer and Team Leader of SAVE FOOD.

1) http://www.fao.org/news/story/jp/item/147427/icode/
2) The Reality of the 2012 Development Policy – Terre des Hommes
3) https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/be.html
4) http://www.fao.org/news/story/jp/item/147427/icode/
5) http://wwf.de/fileadmin/fm-wwf/Publikationen-PDF/studie_tonnen_fuer_die_tonne.pdf
6) http://www.clubofrome.org/?p=6211

SAVE FOOD is a joint initiative of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) and Messe Düsseldorf GmbH against worldwide food loss and waste. Since the beginning of 2013 the initiative has also been
supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). SAVE FOOD seeks to network between the relevant players in business, government and research, encourage dialogue and help to find solutions along the food value chain. Another aim is to initiate and promote special SAVE FOOD projects with support from industry. SAVE FOOD was launched in Düsseldorf in May 2011 with an international convention and an exhibition as part of
interpack, the world’s leading trade fair in the packaging industry and the related processing industry. As before, experts from business, government and public life will be meeting at interpack 2014 on the 7 and 8 May to discuss the issue of food loss and waste. Further details can be found at www.savefood.org.

SAVE FOOD Press Office
Jan Leder
PR and Media Relations
Grayling Deutschland GmbH
Rather Str. 49 D
40476 Düsseldorf – Germany
Tel. +49 (0)211 – 964 85-41
Fax +49 (0)211 – 964 85-45