According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, one third of the food produced is wasted, while more than 800 million people go hungry every day. Just a quarter of these losses could feed almost 870 million people.
According to a definition by the French Ministry of Agriculture and Food, food wastage means "any food intended for human consumption that is lost, thrown away or spoiled at some stage of the food chain". The causes of food wastage in households are manifold and are associated in particular with the loss of monetary and symbolic value of food in relation to other expenditure and activities, changes in society and family organisation, new ways of eating, changes in the pace of life, etc. However, in addition to this individual responsibility, food wastage is observed at all stages of the food chain and applies to all actors: producers, processors, distributors, restaurateurs and transporters.
Reducing food wastage is a threefold challenge.
- Environmental: on a global scale, food waste is a vector of significant GHG emissions, taking into account the energy needed to produce, process, preserve, package and transport,
packaging and transport. It is also a significant waste of natural resources, in particular water;
- Economic: food waste inevitably involves a huge monetary waste;
- Ethical and social: throwing food away is even more unacceptable in the perspective of a global food crisis, as well as in the current social context specific to each country.
Although the retail sector is responsible for 5% of food waste compared to 42% at household level, the ability of the retail sector to act is crucial in managing food waste.
Most of the food bought in supermarkets that spoils and cannot be "recycled" is fresh, with a waste rate of 2.05% in this category, according to the report "Food waste management in large-scale retail" produced by Nielsen and Checkpoint in collaboration with Aecoc.
With this metric we aim to assess supermarkets' efforts on Food Waste by focusing on how they manage and publish their various measures and targets to prevent and reduce it.