Huge amounts of food are wasted along the chain from farm, through storage and processing, to retailers and finally consumers. Some estimates put the figure as high as 50%.
In developing countries, where storage facilities are often poor, food losses are greatest soon after harvest, in contrast with the situation in high-income countries where the greatest losses are usually incurred in the home. When the extra food needed to feed an additional two billion or more people over the coming decades will require substantial efforts to nearly double current levels of production, this situation cannot be allowed to continue. Reducing food waste would relieve some of the pressure to increase the area of land used for agriculture. It would also have significant environmental benefits.
Speakers at this conference will discuss the current situation with respect to food waste and initiatives to address the problem in the UK and across the world, from ‘farm to fork’. Some particular projects being undertaken by universities, research institutes, retailers and other organisations will be showcased to illustrate progress and opportunities available.