The first ever global standard for logging food waste has been created, with the launch of the Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard taking place at Copenhagen’s Global Green Growth Forum yesterday.
The Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard is the world’s first standardised framework with which to properly track and monitor levels of food waste and acts at a yardstick to which businesses and governments ought to measure themselves. It has been developed in conjunction with the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP).
Andrew Steer, President and CEO at the World Resources Institute (the organisation responsible for bringing together the collaborators on the standard) described the standard as a “real breakthrough”, adding that it would allow countries and companies far and wide to work in a “highly credible and consistent manner” with the same objective and the same benchmark.
It’s estimated that around a third of all food produced is lost or wasted every year, representing an annual financial cost of some $940bn. Of course, that’s without even factoring in the ethical and environmental issues raised by improper wastage. The new standard will hopefully go some way to improving waste disposal practices within the food industry. With a united goal, countries and businesses will be able to pool knowledge and figures whilst simultaneously understanding the level at which they should be operating and, crucially, how to get there.
Several fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) firms have already backed the Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard, including big name brands, Nestlé and Tesco. Indeed, Paul Bulcke, CEO of Nestlé said the standard would be “instrumental” to reducing food loss and waste.
Dave Lewis, CEO of Tesco concurred, reiterating his delight at being the UK’s first retailer to actually publish its food waste data, signed off and verified by an independent body. He added the Food Loss and Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard would encourage and enable others to monitor their food waste more effectively and, in turn, reduce wastage.