In the EU, an estimated 20% of the total food produced is lost or wasted, while 43 million people cannot afford a quality meal every second day. Food is lost or wasted along the whole food supply chain: on the farm, in processing and manufacture, in shops, in restaurants and canteens and in the home. The reasons for food waste vary widely and can be sector-specific.
Food loss and waste in industrialised countries are as high as in developing countries, but their distribution is different:
• in developing countries, over 40% of food losses happen after harvest and during processing;
• in industrialised countries, over 40% occurs at retail and consumer level.