UNEP Food Waste Index Report 2021

     The fact that substantial amounts of food are produced but not eaten by humans has substantial negative impacts: environmentally, socially, and economically.

Estimates suggest that 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions are associated with food that is not consumed.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released the Food Waste Index Report 2021 with partner organization WRAP(Waste and Resources Action Programme).

The report says- 17% of all food available at consumer levels was wasted in 2019. That year, some 690 million people had to go hungry.

The Food Waste Index measures total food waste (rather than loss or waste associated with specific commodities).

Highlights of the Report:-

⦁ This report estimates that around 931 million tonnes of food waste was generated in 2019. 61% of which came from households(Major contribution), 26% from foodservice, and 13% from retail.

⦁ Food waste generation is found to be equally relevant across all income countries such as high, upper‑middle, and lower-middle-income countries.

⦁ In South Asia, while 50 kilograms of food is wasted per person each year at the household level in India.

⦁ Global food waste data availability is currently low, and measurement approaches have been highly variable.


Reduction in Food wastage: The Need of the Hour


⦁ To reduce the pressure on Environment and slow the destruction of nature through land conversion and pollution, enhance the availability of food.

⦁ The Food Waste Index Report aims at supporting the Goals of SDG 12 Target 3 [By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses]

⦁ Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions are associated with food that is not consumed.


Way Forward

⦁ As of now, none of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement mention food waste, and only 11 mention food loss. Countries can raise climate ambition by including food systems in their NDCs.

⦁ UN Food Systems Summit should be more effective in addressing the problem of food wastage and Food loss  


  • UN Food Systems Summit

In 2021, UN Secretary-General António Guterres will convene a Food Systems Summit as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

  • Food Loss Index

It has been created by Food Agriculture Organization to focus on the percentage of food removed from the supply chain. Also, the index helps to monitor Sustainable Development Goal 12.3.

  • International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction is observed on 29th September 2020.
  • Food Loss in India
  • India ranks 102nd in Global Hunger Index among 117 countries.
  • Ministry of Agriculture-Rs 50,000 crore worth of food is wasted every year in India. 25% of the freshwater used to produce food is ultimately wasted in terms of food loss.


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