Technical Platform on the Measurement and Reduction of Food Loss and Waste in support of SDG 12.3
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (
United Nations / Multilateral body
The Technical Platform seeks to strengthen collective efforts to prevent and reduce food loss and waste across the globe. Launched in December 2015, by the heads of Rome-Based Agencies (RBAs) the Technical Platform was established following the G20 Ministries of Agriculture recommendation to focus on the measurement and reduction of Food Loss and Waste. In July 2020, the Technical Platform was merged with the Community of Practice on Food Loss and Waste that was established in the framework of a project jointly implemented by the RBAs in October 2014. The revamped Technical Platform seeks to harness global awareness-raising initiatives and technical and policy support and collaborations for reducing food loss at the supply chain level, country, regional and global levels.
The Technical Platform serves a broad audience including post-harvest experts, private sector entities, supply chain actors, and Governments with resources on food loss and waste (FLW), analysing the issues from different angles. It consolidates and shares up-to-date developments in field level work and scientific advancements on the measurement and reduction of FLW toward facilitating a better understanding of FL, and their causes as a basis for the formulation of socially and economically feasible science-based responses by countries. The Technical Platform was designed to contribute to fostering global engagement toward achieving SDG 12 target 12.3 that aims to by 2030, halve the per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels, and reduce FL along production and supply chains including post-harvest losses.
The Technical Platform specifically tailors support to meeting the SDG 12.3.1 indicator targets. Activities spearheaded by the platform include consolidation of data on critical food loss points in food supply chains and their underlying causes; examples of context appropriate solutions and their cost-benefit analysis, and serving as a basis for informing the development of the Global Food Loss Index. By promoting food loss reduction considering underlying factors of losses, such as policy and social-economic constraints of supply chain actors, the platform contributes to other SDGs.
Launched in December 2015, by FAO and IFPRI, in July 2020, the Technical Platform was merged with the Community of Practice on Food Loss and Waste, established with funding support from the Swiss Development Cooperation under a technical project collaboratively implemented by the UN Rome-based Agencies, and affiliated with the One Planet Network. The Technical Platform is currently maintained by FAO, with a coordinator responsible for its upkeep. The Technical Platform integrates a Community of Practice with a membership of some 1600 individuals from a diversity of backgrounds who benefit from access to networking and technical resources on the website. The Technical Platform reports to the G20 Ministries of Agriculture on progress achieved on an annual basis, as well as to the FAO Regular Programme, under which its upkeep is currently funded. The Technical Platform also publishes a quarterly update on news, events, scientific publications and developments. The below highlights initiatives supported by multiple projects and resources: • Publication of technical manuals on post-harvest management of several crops. • Analysis of critical food loss points, piloting solutions, and support to formulate national policies for reducing food losses. • Production and dissemination of multimedia resources and technical guidance notes available in several languages. • Facilitation of a web-based community of practices on food loss reduction for experts and practitioners. • Awareness raising and advocacy promoted at the global level for the “International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste” and the “2021 International Year of Fruits and Vegetables”.
The Technical Platform is a global resource that embraces inclusivity. It serves as resource of technical manuals; guidance documents on good practice to reduce food losses; factsheets that promote decision support on the adoption of best practice based on successful pilots implemented at the field level; case study reports; linkages to data sets on food losses, as well as multimedia, training courses, and on-line courses, to support learning on food loss reduction approaches and strategies. Policy briefs documented on the Technical Platform and particularly the food loss analyses performed in 56 supply chains, across 23 countries, have been instrumental in informing development of the Global Food Loss Index. The web-based Community of Practice within the Technical Platform, engages 1,600 members in knowledge sharing and networking on food FLW issues and in expanding their horizons through linking to databases of other like-minded partners such as the EU Platform on Food Loss and Waste.
Continuous investments in international development cooperation projects implemented by FAO, its members and partners are essential to enable the platform to support tailored solutions as per country-specific needs and to reach vulnerable beneficiaries within the food supply chains (e.g. smallholder farmers, micro and small food enterprises). Broad based collaboration across international and national public, private and civil society institutions is essential. The Technical Platform facilitates distance learning on the food loss analysis through the online courses. Multi-media presentations on the platform also provide a useful teaching resource.
The sustainability of the initiative relies on the uptake of solutions and tools included on the Technical Platform and their promotion at scale by governments, research and extension institutions, and the private sector through investment funds. Relevant initiatives must be supported by active monitoring of food loss at the country-level and accompanied by enabling policies and legislation. Monitoring food losses and actively seeking and promoting innovations in institutions, governance, practices, and technologies are foundations for sustainably building on the platform's resources and support.
The COVID19 impacted food value chains and specific response measures as restrictions on the circulation of the agri-food labour force, transport of food loads, and the closure of food services directly impacted post-harvest management systems' functioning, increasing levels of food losses. In some cases, concerns on workers' safety performing harvest and post-harvest operations caused a shortage of skilled labour and supply chain disruptions linked to food losses. The Technical Platform provided inputs and disseminated information on mitigation measures and initiatives that were very highly subscribed to during 2020: • Policy briefs on impacts of COVID19 on food losses and options to mitigation (http://www.fao.org/policy-support/tools-and-publications/resources-deta…); • Compilation and dissemination of news and information reporting links between the pandemic and post-harvest management systems and food losses and waste (http://www.fao.org/platform-food-loss-waste/resources/covid-19-flw-rela…).
SDGS & Targets
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development
Deliverables & Timeline
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