Skip to content

First ever International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste celebration

Today, Slovenia and the rest of the world celebrate the first ever International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, which was designated by the UN General Assembly with the support of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). FAO stresses increasing levels of hunger, recalls the consequences of food waste for the environment and calls for action on all levels.

Globally, around 14 percent of food produced is lost between harvest and retail

Globally, around 14 percent of food produced is lost between harvest and retail | Author GettyImages/GulliverFilm&Foto

The first ever observance of the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste comes during the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought to widespread attention the need to transform and rebalance the way our food is produced and consumed, FAO says.

They point out that reducing food waste is essential in a world where hunger has been increasing since 2014. “Tons and tons of edible food are lost or wasted every day,” says FAO, adding that globally around 14 percent of food produced is lost between harvest and retail.

In addition, food waste puts strong pressures on natural resources and the environment, since food production uses valuable resources such as land, water, energy and fuel. It is also linked to greenhouse gas emissions. “When food is lost or wasted, all the resources that were used to produce this food, including water, land, energy, labour and capital, go to waste,” says the organisation.

They stress that actions are required both locally and globally to reduce food loss and waste, and that all food supply chain stakeholders must be involved, from food producers and retailers to consumers.

It is essential that consumers change their shopping habits, the Slovenian Consumers' Association and the association of Ecologists Without Borders said ahead of the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste. They pointed out that, according to the data of the national statistical office for 2018, every Slovenian citizen unnecessarily wastes around 13 kilograms of edible food per year. In order to reduce such waste they are advised to plan their meals, to always bring a shopping list when they go to the grocery store, not to buy food in bulk just because it is on sale, and to save leftovers and reuse them later.

This international day is also being celebrated at the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, where they launched a campaign with the slogan “We’re not throwing that away!” (Stran pa ne bomo metal!). The campaign aims to raise awareness among consumers on how to contribute to the reduction of food waste in their households.