Photo: WFP/Theresa Piorr

Food Waste

& Food Loss

There’s enough food to feed all 7 billion people on the planet. The problem is nearly 30% of it is lost or wasted every year.

In high-income countries, 40 percent of food is wasted because people buy more food than they can consume. In low-income countries, where the vast majority of the world’s hungriest people live, most food loss occurs during the early stages of growth, harvest and storage.


worth of edible food is lost or wasted every year


of the world’s food supply is lost or wasted annually

3B tons

of greenhouse gases are emitted by wasted food each year

6 Food Waste facts

Fact 1

Reversing current food waste and food loss trends would preserve enough food to feed 2 billion people . That’s nearly twice the number of undernourished people across the globe.

Photo: WFP/Sayed Asif Mahmud

Fact 2

Consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa each year. At the same time, the value of post-harvest food loss in Sub-Saharan Africa is more than what the region receives in food assistance.

Photo: WFP/Arete/Fredrik Lerneryd

Fact 3

Cutting global food waste in half by 2030 is one of the U.N.’s top priorities. In fact, it’s one of the organization’s 17 sustainable development goals.

Photo: WFP/Evelyn Fey/2021

Fact 4

The amount of water used to produce food that ends up wasted could fill Lake Geneva three times. And of the world’s arable land, 28 percent produces food that ends up in a bin rather than in a hungry stomach.

Photo: WFP/Sayed Asif Mahmud

Fact 5

If wasted food were a country, it would be the third largest producer of carbon dioxide in the world, after the U.S. and China. If we reduce food waste, we could cut global emissions by 8-10 percent.

Photo: Unsplash/Veeterzy

Fact 6

WFP provides family farmers with air-tight storage containers that cut their food loss from 40 to 2 percent. These bins allow farmers to store and save food from infestations or destruction by insects, rodents, mold and moisture.

Photo: WFP/Mustapha Bribi
Imagery for slide 0 Imagery for slide 1 Imagery for slide 2 Imagery for slide 3 Imagery for slide 4 Imagery for slide 5

How WFP Fights Food Waste & Food Loss

Food Storage

Around the world, subsistence farmers can lose nearly half of their harvest simply because they don’t have access to modern storage equipment. WFP is changing that with silos and air-tight bags.

925 lbsA single silo can hold up to 925 pounds of dried beans, nuts or corn.
870MIf only one-third of the lost food could be recovered, it would feed more than 870 million people.
Photo: WFP

The typical WFP food ration includes long-lasting staples like flour, dried beans, salt and cooking oil – all packaged in sturdy containers. This ensures the items won’t spoil for weeks or months.

45%Nearly half of all fruits and vegetables are wasted – the highest rate of any food product.
16Nonperishable, tasteless micronutrient powders contain the recommended daily intake of 16 vitamins and minerals.
Photo: WFP/Fares Khoailed

Hydroponics, hermetic containers, recovery supply chains and virtual farmers markets. These are just a few of the innovations that allow communities to grow, sell and store food in impossible places.

E-cardsE-cards allow people to purchase food on their own. It’s a solution to both poverty and retailers’ food waste.
5 TonsOne pilot project recovered 5 tons of food destined for landfills and made it into school meals.
Photo: WFP/Mustapha Bribi

The U.S. Farm Bill authorizes several critical programs that take American-grown crops like rice, corn, wheat and soy beans and distribute them to vulnerable people in need.

7 shipsA fleet of seven ships carried wheat from Oregon to Yemen in 2018 – enough to feed 6M people.
40MThe McGovern-Dole Food for Education Program has benefited over 40M school children since 2003.
Photo: WFP

Help Fight Food Waste & Food Loss

Donate to support programs that help safeguard farmers from food loss and make their communities more resilient.