Food loss and waste | WWF
© Michel Gunther / WWF

Food loss and waste

We already produce more than enough food to feed everybody on Earth – but around a third of it never gets eaten. At the same time, nearly a billion people go hungry.
Producing 50% more food than we consume also means we are having completely unnecessary impacts on nature.

We want to see a world in which food's true value is recognised and wastage is dramatically reduced to end hunger, cater for a growing global population and reduce the pressure on our planet.
Nancy Rono is part of a scheme, implemented by WWF Kenya and supported by the HSBC Water Programme, to provide economic incentives to reduce the impacts farming has on the Mara River, Kenya

© Jonathan Caramanus / Green Renaissance / WWF-UK

Food waste is not an option

If food loss and waste was a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases. Failing to tackle our wastage makes it extremely difficult to keep climate change from causing catastrophic impacts.

It also means much forest destruction, water diversion from rivers, soil degradation and biodiversity loss occur, all for nothing.  And it costs the global economy $940 billion per year – an astonishing cost to all citizens and lost income for farmers.

Meanwhile, everyone currently suffering from hunger could be properly fed on less than a quarter of the food wasted in Europe and the US.

We must change direction for the sake of people and nature − making food loss and waste socially and politically unacceptable, and ensuring all those involved in food production transform their working practices. 

What we're doing

We want to halve the amount thrown away by consumers and retailers, while reducing losses after harvest and on the farm.
We’re tackling this challenge on two fronts. On the consumption side, we’re working with businesses that make, sell and serve food to understand why food gets wasted, and what can be done about it. And we’re running awareness campaigns to make consumers better informed about food waste.

Equally, we’re looking at ways to reduce the amount of food that gets lost along supply chains, particularly in Africa and Asia. 

Get involved


  • Make a shopping list and meal plan before you go food shopping
  • Don’t go food shopping on an empty stomach and avoid impulse buys
  • Freeze and label any leftovers – and make sure you eat them!
  • Only take what you need from a buffet in a hotel or restaurant
  • Ask for a doggie bag to take home any of your leftovers from a restaurant
  • Ask supermarkets and restaurants if they have food donation programmes – suggest they start one if they don’t!


We need to start eating all the food we produce or we’ll have even more impacts on nature. Please share this with your friends and communities.

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