The scale of global food waste is extremely hard to comprehend. We waste about 1.3 billion tonnes of food a year. This is generally food that hasn’t been prepared for eating. To put this into perspective if we saved half the food waste we could feed 870 million people; this is almost the amount of people that are starving at the moment. This scale of waste is generally due to fruit and vegetable wastage, this is due to half of the fruit and vegetables we grow being thrown away.
We have been told that we need to increase global food production by 70 to 100% by 2050 to ensure we can feed the world. However if we used half the food waste we produce we could feed all the undernourished in the world. This food waste needs to be addressed.
It is widely accepted that food waste in your own country will not go to those starving on the opposite side of the world. However there are ways for foreign investors in developing countries to tackle the food wastage. After the controversy surrounding “land grabbing” investors are now expected to be responsible when they invest. We believe that one of the key elements of responsible investment is to play a leading role in global food waste. We believe that Investors should provide training to farmers on storage and techniques to minimise post-harvest loss or allow communities on the farm to collect produce that has been missed in the harvest.
The solutions that have been found are not ground breaking but they are the sort of solutions that will actually save food. We need to play an active role in combatting food wastage as a way of helping those in need. A concerted effort to save and reduce waste could help feed a lot of people suffering from malnourishment in developing countries.
It all starts with ethical investment and investors being held to a higher standard to ensure progressive development in areas that need it the most.