WWF Launches Global Farm Loss Tool to Address On-Farm Food Waste

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has introduced the Global Farm Loss Tool, an initiative aimed at assisting growers worldwide in measuring and reporting on-farm food loss. Developed by WWF and tested with members of the Consumer Goods Forum’s (CGF) Food Waste Coalition and their associated growers, the tool offers a simplified and user-friendly approach to help farmers and their buyers identify and tackle the root causes of on-farm food loss and its consequential impacts, such as scope 3 emissions.

The tool addresses a critical juncture in the global supply chain: on the farm itself. Research conducted by WWF and Tesco underscores the magnitude of the challenge, revealing that approximately 1.2 billion tonnes, or roughly 15% of all food produced annually worldwide, is lost on farms during, around, and after harvest. Compounding this issue, growers and buyers often lack comprehensive data on the volume of unharvested products, hindering their ability to discern what is marketable, non-marketable, or spoiled.

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By furnishing actionable insights, the Global Farm Loss Tool empowers growers and buyers to assess their current loss levels and devise strategies to utilize more of the produce grown. It enables estimation of surplus produce left behind post-harvest, both in-field and across various stages of farm operations, such as processing and packhouse activities. While applicable to all crops, the tool particularly targets fruits, vegetables, and tree nuts.

Pete Pearson, Senior Director of Food Loss and Waste at WWF, emphasized the necessity of visibility in pinpointing food loss hotspots and understanding their underlying causes. He remarked, “The Global Farm Loss Tool is designed to be part of that solution, helping fill the crucial gap of tracking primary and actionable food loss data at the farm level of global supply chains.”

The beta testing of the Global Farm Loss Tool received support from the CGF through its Food Waste Coalition, comprising 18 major food brands, retailers, and manufacturers. The Coalition endeavors to halve global food loss and waste by 2030, aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3. Sharon Bligh, Director of Health and Sustainability at the CGF, underscored the significance of growers in fostering a sustainable food system, expressing the CGF’s commitment to aiding members in addressing agricultural footprints.

The Global Farm Loss Tool seamlessly integrates with existing reporting frameworks, including the World Resources Institute’s (WRI) 10x20x30, WRAP’s Food Waste Atlas, and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Loss Index. Endorsed by food loss experts at Champions 12.3, the tool will also feature in established farm sustainability reporting frameworks like the Sustainable Food Trust’s Global Farm Metric, while advancing capabilities to estimate scope 3 emissions linked to on-farm food loss.

The Global Farm Loss Tool is freely accessible to growers and farmers worldwide at GlobalFarmLossTool.org.

(image: WWF / James Morgan)


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