THOFFOOD | Thought for Food and Action > Projects > UNITED NATIONS REPORT ON FOOD WASTE (2021)


The UN has published a report where it studies the levels of food waste. The study has been done globally and offers a new methodology for countries to measure their waste levels and act accordingly to reduce it.

This report estimates that around 931 million tons of food waste were generated in 2019, of which 61% came from households, 26% from food services and 13% from retail.

Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 includes a commitment to halve food waste at retail and consumer levels and to reduce food loss in supply chains. This report aims to advance SDG´s compliance in two ways:

  • By providing new data collection, analysis and modeling on food waste. The report generates a new estimate of global food waste, thus providing new insight into the magnitude of the problem and the significant potential for prevention in all countries.
  • By publishing a methodology for countries to measure food waste at all levels in order to track national progress between now and 2030.

The report has also found that household food waste per capita is similar in high income countries, upper-middle and lower-middle income countries, but it had insufficient data to draw conclusions about low-income countries.

The data presented in this Report has shown that food waste at the consumer´s purchasing power is a problem for everyone. In all countries for which data is available, food waste, especially at the household level, is considerable, so addressing food waste is a key issue in building low-impact, healthy and resilient food systems.

The Farm to Fork Strategy addresses this issue and legal obligations regarding food waste are pending from the European Commission.