The United Nations General Assembly designated 29 September as the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste (IDAFLW). The day is co-convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the day’s events are led jointly by the two organisations.
The goal is to raise awareness on food loss and waste, possible solutions, and promote global efforts and collective action towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.3.The target aims to halve per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level by 2030, and reduce food losses along the food production and supply chains.
On 29 September 2022, the IDAFLW was observed for the third time and called for a clear recognition of the importance of cutting food loss and waste (FLW) to mitigate climate change, and support food security and nutrition. With eight years left to reach the target, IDAFLW 2022 help us recall that reducing FLW presents an opportunity for immediate climate benefits while improving the overall sustainability of our food systems – it is a necessary transformation to ensure better planetary and nutritional outcomes for current and future generations.
On 29 September 2021, IDAFLW was observed for the second time right after the conclusion of the first-ever United Nations Food Systems Summit. With less than nine years left to achieve the SDGs, the second observance highlighted the urgent need to accelerate collective action to reduce food loss and waste.
The UN General Assembly designated 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, which led the IDAFLW to focus specifically on these crops. Chefs, food industry leaders and governments contributed to the observance to get everyone thinking about the amount of fresh food wasted at consumer level, and to propose effective ways to reduce these losses with more sustainable food purchases, preparation, and preservation.
The first ever IDAFLW was on 29 September 2020. The mobilisation on this day centered on raising awareness on food loss and waste and its possible solutions at all levels in a bid to promote global efforts and collective action. Central to its theme was the importance of working together to bring about transformative change that benefits the health of people and of the planet.
On this occasion, governments and the international community led by UNEP and FAO came together to make a clear call to action for both the public sector, the private sector, civil society, academia and other stakeholders to bolster efforts to reduce food loss and waste toward ensuring food security for all and particularly the most vulnerable impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Public and private entities as well as consumers from across the food systems, must work to cut food loss and waste to enhance the use of natural resources, mitigate climate change and support food security and proper nutrition for all. The International Food Loss and Waste: Get Involved guide offers key messages, facts and figures, and actions that stakeholders can take to help reduce food loss and waste.