- The Rockefeller Foundation announced Thursday that it will launch a seven-year, $130 million initiative called YieldWise to reduce food loss and waste globally. The announcement was made in part of the World Economic Forum’s 2016 Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
- Through YieldWise, the Foundation will collaborate with private and government stakeholders across the food supply system to promote behavioral changes and produce a global food system with minimal waste.
- Also announced Thursday was Champions 12.3 — a global coalition of 30 leaders from industry, government, global institutions, and civil society groups, with the goal to reach Target 12.3 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This target will cut food waste in half, per capita, and reduce food losses by 2030.
Some factors leading to food waste are over-purchasing and misinterpretation of expiration dates, leading to disposal of food that is still quite edible. These are among reasons that so much of it ends up in landfills — more than 30 million tons of municipal solid waste, or about 18% of landfill waste, are discarded food, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Therefore as perfectly good food is discarded, many people, especially in underdeveloped countries, go hungry.
Some domestic restaurants and other retailers are doing their share to reduce both of these problems: the environmental one impacting our landfills, and the social problem impacting the hungry. Municipalities and solid waste professionals have taken part too, for instance offering curbside composting.
But there’s a lot more work to be done to reverse a global trend where a third of all food is lost or wasted. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), food loss and waste amounts to $940 billion in global annual economic losses.
“YieldWise is the first global solution to food loss and waste that works across the entire food system: from farm to store to table and beyond," stated Judith Rodin, president of The Rockefeller Foundation, in a press statement.
Champions 12.3 intends to complement YieldWaste and build upon ongoing programs to reduce food loss and waste. "Together, we will ensure that humanity has enough food to thrive, all while respecting the limits of our planet’s ability," stated Rodin.