International Day for the Dissemination of Food Loss and Food Waste Information (29/09)

Among other UN memorable dates aimed at achieving the goals of the Sustainable Development Program, there are those that are aimed at updating the problems associated with the lack of balance between the production and consumption of food products in different parts of the planet, despite the fact that in some of its regions the population regularly experiences malnutrition and even hunger.

Among such memorable dates, the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction, established by the Resolution of the UN General Assembly, occupies a special place and is celebrated annually on September 29. The adoption of the resolution (A/RES/74/209) took place in December 2019.

The decision was made on the basis of data compiled and analyzed by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) and UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme). According to the data presented, the world is losing about a third of all food produced. This process consists of losses in the process of production and delivery of food to the distribution network, as well as the transformation of food products into food waste at the stage of sale and during consumption.

The identification of such a volume of food losses and spoilage against the backdrop of a serious problem of food shortages in certain regions of the planet is pushing the UN to draw the attention of representatives of the manufacturing sector, the delivery and sale of food products to this problem, to approach it through a more rational approach, improving the culture of production, processing, delivery, sale in order to reduce the volume of losses and spoilage of products. With the same appeal, the UN addresses ordinary citizens who are the final consumers of food.

Reducing losses in the process of production and delivery of food products to the retail trade network will, according to FAO specialists, help to solve the problem of malnutrition and hunger in a number of developing countries. The UN also draws attention to the costs incurred by producers, sellers and consumers of food products that, for one reason or another, were lost or turned into waste. In fact, these costs (financial, energy, labor) are useless. But the share of only energy costs for food products that end up in waste is about 35%. In addition, food waste replenishes the volumes of waste that need to be recycled in an environmentally friendly manner, which in turn also requires the use of huge resources.