Why we should waste less food

Cultivating, processing, transporting, cooling and heating up: we put a lot of energy into our food. Every step in the food supply chain produces greenhouse gas emissions and takes a lot of water and land use. This has a huge impact on our climate. As such, we must waste as little good food as possible.

Less food loss and waste

  • Less greenhouse gas emissions
  • More biodiversity
  • More good food for everyone
  • More space for nature
  • More money saved
  • Less use of water
  • Less use of energy
  • More sustainable farming
  • More circular economy
  • Less greenhouse gas emissions
  • More biodiversity
  • More good food for everyone
  • More space for nature
  • More money saved
  • Less use of water
  • Less use of energy
  • More sustainable farming
  • More circular economy
  • Less greenhouse gas emissions
  • More biodiversity
  • More good food for everyone
  • More space for nature
  • More money saved
  • Less use of water
  • Less use of energy
  • More sustainable farming
  • More circular economy
  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

  • 1/3 of all food produced worldwide is wasted

Every year 2 billion kilograms of food is wasted in the Netherlands

Did you know that worldwide 1/3 of the food produced is wasted? And that in the Netherlands this is 1/4? In the Netherlands, every year about 2 billion kilograms of food is wasted. This equals a line of trucks filled with food, stretching from Utrecht (in the middle of the Netherlands) to Barcelona.

This waste occurs throughout the whole food supply chain: from farm to fork and from conveyor belt to restaurant. It is an estimate for the entire chain, based on the ‘Monitor Voedselverspilling’ published by Wageningen University & Research (WUR) and spanning multiple years.

Consumer food waste is measured every three years by the Netherlands Nutrition Centre (Voedingscentrum).

Coordinated by Food Waste Free United, more and more sectors are becoming transparent about the food waste at their companies. This helps to create an increasingly reliable view of the numbers.

Food waste has a big impact on our climate

All our food is cultivated, processed, transported, cooled, heated up, and packaged with love and care by people; from farm to fork and from conveyor belt to restaurant. If we waste all this good food, the energy, greenhouse gas emissions, water, resources, and land use have all been for nothing. By eating every slice of bread and piece of fruit, we make a positive impact on our climate and living environment.

Whether at home or in your organisation, preventing food waste is the most effective way towards a responsible and sustainable food supply chain and a better climate. Reducing food loss and waste in the supply chain is therefore one of the top 3 solutions to reduce climate change.

“If we halve our food waste in the Netherlands (so 1 billion kilograms less)…”

“…it would feed 2.7 million people for a year; this is equal to all the inhabitants of the whole province of North Holland" (according to calculations in the National Food Consumption Survey)."

What do we gain by reducing food waste?

There is a lot to gain by reducing food waste, both for the climate and for your wallet. By wasting less food, consumers can save up to € 138 per person per year at home. This equals about 33.4 kilograms of good food. Every euro invested in a proven solution to prevent food waste results in savings equivalent to 14 euros. And there is even more to be gained.

Because less food waste contributes to:

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reaching climate goals;

  • A circular economy in which our resources within the food supply chain are repeatedly brought to value;

  • Less land use and sustaining biodiversity;

  • Less dependency on the worldwide resource market;

  • A resilient food production system with enough good food for everyone.

50% less food waste by 2030

That’s why Food Waste Free United is striving to reach Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, of the United Nations: 50% less food waste by 2030 as compared to 2015.

We can only achieve this ambition if the whole system changes as well. That’s why Food Waste Free United works together with food businesses from the entire supply chain, national and local governments, NGOs, educational institutions and consumers.

What can you do?

Everyone can contribute towards a more sustainable, responsible food system with less waste. At home, at work, at school, and through government institutions. You can find many useful tips, tricks, solutions, and examples in our Knowledge hub. Currently, most of the entries are in Dutch, but we are working on translating them to English. Join us and go for waste-free!