Global Food Loss and Waste Status

Dr Siming You

Food loss and waste is a global problem of significant socio-economic, environmental and energy consequences. Generally, food loss is considered to be the decrease in quantity or quality of food, whereas food waste is discarded food products in the food supply chain (1). To mitigate the influences of the problem, it is critical to develop better e.g., technologies, logstics approaches and consumption habit/behavior to mitigate food loss and waste, while for the food waste that is unavoidable, effort needs to be made to improve the efficiency of its resource recovery and utlisation. Here we tried to gather existing country-specific food loss and waste data and presented them in maps to highlight the issue and contribute to a better understanding of the scale of the problem. You are welcome to get in touch with feedbacks and for continuous improvement of the maps.

The household food waste (food discarded in households) data were obtained from the UNEP report (2). The UNEP report provides a comprehensive database about global household food waste generation. Attempts were made to extract the food loss and waste data from other sources but all not all countries’/regions’ data were available. For the countries whose data were available (5-52), the food loss and waste data were compared with the household food waste data from the UNEP report and an empirical relationship between food loss and waste and household food waste was developed (details are shown below). The food loss and waste data for the countries/regions whose data were not available were estimated by substitute their household food waste data into an empirical relationship as explained below. A list of references where associated data were extracted are listed in the end. 

Note: if you spot any errors or would like to update us about new data, please contact

Food loss and waste [MT]

Household food waste [MT]

Food loss and waste per capita [kg]

Household food waste per capita [kg]

Empirical relationship between food loss and waste and household waste

As mentioned above, for countries whose food loss and waste data were available, the food loss and waste data were compared with the household food waste data and an empirical relationship between food loss and waste and household food waste was developed. Non-linear least squares regression analysis was carried out to fit a customized exponential function (y=-99.49exp(-0.02615x)+99.49) to the data using the Trust-Region algorithm. The figure below shows the data and curve fitted. It is worth noting that this empirical model has a few limitations. It may be changed with the update of the database. Hence, the use of the model needs to be with care and data extrapolation based on the relationship is not recommended.



1. FAO. Definitional Framework of Food Loss. Working Paper. (2014).
2. United Nations Environment Programme. Food Waste Index Report 2021. (2021).
3. The World Bank. Population, total. (2022).
4. The World Bank. GDP per capita. (2022).
5. The Global Foodbanking Network. The global food donation policy atlas: Executive summary: Argentina.
6. LL Bolagen. The Republic of Armenia Waste Quantity and Composition Study.
7. Department of the Environment and Energy, Australia. Working together to reduce food waste in Australia.
8. European Environment Agency. Country profiles on waste prevention.
9. Ananno, A. A. et al. Sustainable food waste management model for Bangladesh. Sustain. Prod. Consum. 27, 35–51 (2021).
10. The Flemish Food Supply Chain Platform for Food Loss. FOOD WASTE AND FOOD LOSSES: PREVENTION AND VALORISATION.
11. Ministry of Social Development. Intersectoral Strategy for the Reduction of Food Loss and Waste in Brazil.
12. Government of Canada. Taking stock: Reducing food loss and waste in Canada.
13. Transforma Alimentos. Cero Pérdida de Materia Prima en la Agroindustria.óstico.pdf.
14. Jeno, J. G. A., Viveka, R., Varjani, S., Nagappan, S. & Nakkeeran, E. Current trends and prospects of transforming food waste to biofuels in India. in Waste Biorefinery 391–419 (Elsevier, 2021).
15. Mejia Tejada, D. et al. Stay at home: The effects of the COVID-19 lockdown on household food waste in Colombia. Front. Psychol. 4848 (2021).
16. Halloran, A., Clement, J., Kornum, N., Bucatariu, C. & Magid, J. Addressing food waste reduction in Denmark. Food Policy 49, 294–301 (2014).
17. The Global Foodbanking Network. The global food donation policy atlas: Executive summary: Dominican Republic.
18. Granizo, T. Ecuador Wastes Over 900,000 Food Tons Annually, WWF Warns.
19. Conseil National de l’Emballage. Packaging’s contribution to food waste reduction in France.’s-contribution-to-food-waste-reduction-in-France.pdf.
20. Stenmarck, Â. et al. Estimates of European food waste levels. (IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, 2016).
21. The World Bank. Guatemala: Food Smart Country Diagnostic.
22. Yeo, J., Chopra, S. S., Zhang, L. & An, A. K. Life cycle assessment (LCA) of food waste treatment in Hong Kong: On-site fermentation methodology. J. Environ. Manage. 240, 343–351 (2019).
23. Umhverfisstofnun. Food Waste statistics for Iceland in 2019.
24. Ministry of National Development Planning. Food loss and waste in Indonesia.
25. Fami, H. S., Aramyan, L. H., Sijtsema, S. J. & Alambaigi, A. Determinants of household food waste behavior in Tehran city: A structural model. Resour. Conserv. Recycl. 143, 154–166 (2019).
26. Department of & The Environment, C. and C. Ireland’s National Food Waste Prevention Roadmap.
27. BDO Consulting. The Food Waste and Rescue in Israel.
28. Liu, C. et al. Food waste in Japan: Trends, current practices and key challenges. J. Clean. Prod. 133, 557–564 (2016).
29. The World Bank and WRAP. A conceptual framework for a national strategy on food loss and waste in Mexico.
30. European Commission. EU Food Loss and Waste Prevention Hub.
31. What is known about food waste in New Zealand.
32. The World Bank. Nigeria: Food Smart Country Diagnostic. “FOOD SMART” NIGERIA&text=1 Yet each year%2C Nigeria,of the country’s GHG emissions.
33. North Korea’s Economy Is Growing at Its Fastest Pace Since 1999. (2017).
34. Hanssen, A. E. S. and O. J. Food Waste in Norway. (2016).
35. Nisar, M. et al. Usability Evaluation of Food Wastage Mobile Application: A Case of Pakistan. Sustainability 13, 14027 (2021).
36. Bedoya-Perales, N. S. & Dal’Magro, G. P. Quantification of food losses and waste in peru: A mass flow analysis along the food supply chain. Sustainability 13, 2807 (2021).
37. Climate Change Comission. Effective food waste management in the 25th Episode of “Stories for a Better Normal” Series. to the World Wildlife,wasted food come from restaurants.
38. oikos Lisbon. Food loss & food waste.
39. Adema, S. Food Waste Woes in Qatar.
40. Filimonau, V. & Ermolaev, V. A. Mitigation of food loss and waste in primary production of a transition economy via stakeholder collaboration: A perspective of independent farmers in Russia. Sustain. Prod. Consum. 28, 359–370 (2021).
41. The World Bank. Rwanda: Food Smart Country Diagnostic.
42. Alshabanat, Z. et al. Quantifying Food Loss and Waste in Saudi Arabia. Sustainability 13, 9444 (2021).
43. Hoehn, D. et al. Regionalized strategies for food loss and waste management in Spain under a life cycle thinking approach. Foods 9, 1765 (2020).
44. Geneva Environment Network. Food Loss and Waste.
45. Food loss and waste in Taiwan.
46. Directorate-General of Budget Accounting and Statistics Executive Yuan. GDP: Preliminary Estimate for 2021Q3 and Outlook for 2021.
47. Salihoglu, G., Salihoglu, N. K., Ucaroglu, S. & Banar, M. Food loss and waste management in Turkey. Bioresour. Technol. 248, 88–99 (2018).
48. Kotykova, O. & Babych, M. Limitations in availability of food in Ukraine as a result of loss and waste. Oeconomia Copernicana 10, 153–172 (2019).
49. SAUDIGAZETTE.COM.SA. Food waste: Focus on rules & global norms.
50. RTS. Food Waste in America in 2021. (2021).
51. Silveira, A. C. The need to reduce food loss and waste.
52. The World Bank. Vietnam: Food Smart Country Diagnostic.