In the U.S., 40 percent of the food produced each year is wasted, which impacts people and the environment. Now, a new report from the United Nations will help Mercy Investment Services and other investors as they continue to raise the issue of food waste with companies.
In conjunction with World Food Day on October 16, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations released its annual report, The State of Food and Agriculture. The 2019 report focuses on global food loss and waste and its societal and environmental impacts and provides updated estimates of the world’s post-harvest food loss rates. According to the Food Loss Index (FLI) developed by FAO and the UN Environment Program, 14% of global food produced is lost from post-harvest up to, but not including, the retail level. The report evaluates the links between food loss and waste and the issues of food security and nutrition, as well as environmental sustainability, and provides recommendations for improved policies for waste reduction that can help achieve additional objectives around food security and environmental sustainability.
Mercy Investment Services engages several companies in both the food producers as well as retail sector on the issue of food waste in the food and beverage industry. Kroger is one example of a company that is working to reduce its food waste via methods that address the issues of food security within the company’s communities, as well as the environmental impacts of wasted food and the associated lost resources. Through its Zero Hunger │ Zero Waste program, Kroger donated 100 million pounds of food in 2018 to local food banks, up from 91.2 million pounds in 2017. To reduce the environmental impact of the retailer’s food waste, it has increased its diversion rate 37% year-over-year by diverting non-donatable food to compost, animal feed, and food recycling programs.