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International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste

Good morning/afternoon.

As you know, Target 12.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals aims to halve food waste and loss by 2030.

Last week, I met with other 12.3 Champions to take stock of our progress over the past year.

I am happy to say that we are seeing real progress at the national level in many countries thanks to the Target-Measure-Act approach. This is where a country or company first sets reduction targets, then measures and identifies hotspots, before taking action to reduce these hotspots of food waste and loss.

But, as we look at the bigger picture, it is clear that to reach Target 12.3 by 2030, we collectively need to move faster.

IFAD already incorporates post-harvest management and food loss reduction investments into our programmes. The Fund currently invests more than $100 million every year on a variety of food loss strategies. These include:

  • training farmers and farmer groups and linking them value chain operators.
  • building community feeder roads, collection centres and local storage facilities
  • upgrading equipment for improved harvesting, drying and cooling

These measures are having an impact, and we plan to do more.

As we all look ahead, I see five priority areas for meeting SDG Target 12.3:

  • First -- integrate food loss reduction into national agricultural policies, strategies and development plans.
  • Second -- improve the access of smallholders and other small value chain actors to rural financial services that are affordable and appropriate for post-harvest investments  reducing food losses. 
  • Third -- engage the private sector to catalyse their investments and further increase financing in food loss reduction.
  • Fourth -- prioritize and increase funding to governments to invest in FLR interventions
  • And finally, promote collective action within partnerships, including with the Rome-Based Agencies, the CGIAR system and the private sector.

IFAD fully supports the Food Loss and Waste coalition announced at the Food Systems pre-Summit in July, along with the achievement of national pathways after the Food Systems Summit. Food loss and waste has already been recognized as a key priority area in a number of these pathways.

Dear colleagues,

This International Day is one way for us all to come together to promote interventions that reduce food loss and contribute to achieving more sustainable food systems.

Together, we can scale up solutions for reducing food loss.

Thank you.