Globally, about 24 percent of all the calories produced for human consumption don’t end up reaching human mouths, according to WRI analysis.
As a result, WRI, together with FAO, United Nations Environment Program, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Consumer Goods Forum, Waste and Resources Action Program and EU FUSIONS is developing a global accounting and reporting standard for food loss, waste and the inedible parts of food, called the Food Loss & Waste Protocol.
The protocol is based on the concept that a company or a country can’t cut its food loss and waste if it doesn’t know the total amount of food being wasted at the outset.
Brian Lipinski of WRI notes that in some regions, like sub-Saharan Africa, the loss problem is more on the production side. In regions like North America, however, more food is lost at the consumption end of the value chain.
According to WRI analysis, the world will need to produce about 69 percent more calories in 2050 than it did in 2006 to feed a projected 9.6 billion people. Cutting current rates of food loss and waste in half would close the calorie gap by roughly 20 percent.
Two groups of experts from around the world have been working on the methods that will go into the FLW Protocol. In 2015, the methodology will be reviewed and tested before its publication next fall.
According to a survey of consumers’ attitudes conducted by Sealed Air earlier this year, more than one-third of all food produced in the US is wasted.