Considering all stages of the production chain, every year one third of the food produced in Switzerland is disposed of as waste or ends up as fodder. Tackling the problem of food waste is an imperative for social, ecological and climatic reasons.
To prevent greenhouse gas emissions associated with food waste, there is only one way: zero waste!
Switzerland has already set itself the target to reduce waste along the food chain by 50% by 2030. All steps in the food chain produce waste. Overall, on average, every citizen in Switzerland wastes 330 kg of food per year.
Waste in agricultural production can be caused by quota laws, technical specifications (e.g. fruit size) or storage errors. The food industry creates waste due to the lack of supply chains for processing by-products or because processing methods do not allow waste to be recovered. Again, when we look at large retailers, waste can arise due to oversupply or difficult transport that damages the products and makes them unsuitable for retail sale. Finally, caterers or households produce waste that comes from the excessive amount of food prepared or leftovers or as a result of storage errors.
It is important to work on raising awareness: research has shown that households largely underestimate the real amount of food waste.
How can we increase individual and collective awareness of the social, climate and environmental impacts of food waste?
What services, processes or initiatives, also at legislative level, can be devised to encourage less waste at all stages of the food chain?
Which key actors can be involved, with the aim of leaving their mark at local level? Individual citizens are certainly important, but large-scale retail and caterers are no less important: can we think of initiatives to promote the rational use of food resources and their creative reuse?