While growing, preparing and eating food is one of the main activities of men and women today, about one-third of the food produced for human consumption is wasted every year globally. This means 1.3 billion tons of food end up in landfills. In the US alone, 40% of the food produced - about 160 billion pounds of food – goes uneaten.
This has huge impact not only on economy but also in communities and the environment, wasting freshwater and generating greenhouse gas emissions.
Food waste starts at the farm: In the U.S., about 7% of produce is left unharvested every year. Farmers tend to grow more than needed to deal with weather, disease and fluctuating orders. On top of this, to meet standard aesthetic requirements part of that crop will go to waste. Retailers are starting to work closely with farmers, sharing forecast data to help with their production plans and prevent overplanting.
On the manufacturer side, food loss is the smallest in the supply chain - only 2%. Obviously, food processors have a vested interest in minimizing waste.