One third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted between harvest and the home, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Not only does this figure illustrate the huge amount of dollars lost in annual food production – USD 940 billion – it also means that, if food waste were a country, it would be the third largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, after the U.S. and China. These statistics fall against a backdrop where one in nine people worldwide is going to bed hungry.
The Comprometido con la Comida Partnership will bring together leaders in Mexico’s agricultural, food retail, government and environmental sectors to identify the root causes of food waste and the economic incentives for advancing more sustainable practices at every level of food production and supply in Mexico.
Through the Comprometido con la Comida Partnership’s approach, farmers, suppliers and food retailers will measure how much food they are wasting, take steps to prevent it, then recover the remaining quantity of surplus product to sell for profit, or donate to hungry people. This will improve the financial outcomes for all involved and begin to provide more food to more people without further stressing the already limited natural resources required to grow and cultivate a global food supply.
The partnership will achieve this by coordinating and connecting across the food supply chain to foster pre-competitive collaboration and set up a voluntary agreement that address inefficiencies and other negative circumstances contributing to food waste. Crucially, the partnership will be additional and complementary to food waste efforts that already exist in Mexico – providing a central hub to consistently gather data, celebrate successes and mitigate unnecessary duplication. This data will then help inform better practices for farmers, buyers and distributors alike, while also encouraging accountability – an approach that lead partner WRAP has proven in other sectors and geographies. The partnership’s presence in Mexico will also help reach corporate leaders across Latin America, strengthening connections and opening new possibilities for future regional scaling of the partnership’s food waste reduction model.