USAID Joins Collaborative Partnership To Reduce Food Loss And Waste

USAID Administrator Samantha Power, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Robert Califf, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan signed a Memorandum of Understanding to increase collaboration on reducing food loss and waste – a critical effort to increase the availability and affordability of safe, nutritious food, address the climate crisis, and reduce and eliminate poverty.

Food loss and waste affects every country. The U.S. sends nearly 80 billion pounds of food to landfills annually. Globally, 735 million people face hunger, while 30 to 40 percent of the food produced is destroyed by pests, spoils during storage and transportation, or goes unused by consumers. The global loss would be enough to feed two billion people. 

Food loss not only undermines efforts to end hunger and malnutrition, but also has serious environmental impact. When food rots it emits methane, and if food loss and waste were a country, it would be the third largest producer of greenhouse gasses, contributing 8-10 percent of global emissions and 50 percent of all food systems GHG emissions – more than the entire airline industry. 

Finally, food loss and waste impacts countries’ economies. Approximately $1 trillion in revenue is lost globally, $4 billion of which is in sub-Saharan Africa. Addressing food loss and waste is an opportunity for a triple win that improves nutrition and food security, mitigates climate change, and spurs economic growth.

Through this new agreement, the four agencies will promote private sector engagement and partnerships to identify innovative solutions and best practices to reduce food loss and waste in the growing, manufacturing, transporting, selling, handling, preparation, storage, and disposing of food. By leveraging the combined tools and resources of the four agencies, through knowledge exchange, sharing of technical and financial resources, and coordinating efforts, the U.S. will influence national and global change.

USAID remains committed to these efforts and will build upon Feed the Future Innovation Labs and other existing investments that support research on evidence-driven solutions to reduce food loss and waste and work with the private sector to scale new approaches.

Originally sourced from USAID

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