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New initiative aims to curb food wastage

| Economic factors

About a third of all food is lost or wasted globally as it moves from where it is produced to where it is eaten. But a new initiative to be launched later this year hopes to alleviate the problem.

A partnership of international organisations is launching the Food Loss and Waste (FLW) Accounting and Reporting Standard. The Consumer Goods Forum says the FLW Standard is the inaugural set of global definitions and reporting requirements for companies, countries and others consistently and credibly to measure, report on and manage food loss and waste.

"Companies will be able to quantify how much food is lost and wasted, where it occurs, and report on it in a highly credible and consistent manner," said president and CEO of the World Resources Institute, Andrew Steer.

"There’s simply no reason that so much food should be lost and wasted. Now we have a powerful new tool that will help governments and businesses save money, protect resources and ensure more people get the food they need."

Estimates differ, but it is thought that about 10-million tonnes of food is wasted per year in SA. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research says the associated cost to society is about R61.5bn per year.

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