Improve food and nutrition security, enhance livelihoods along the agricultural value chain, and reduce negative environmental impacts by eliminating the loss of food between field and market.
Our planet currently produces enough food to feed the entire global population, yet 1.2 billion are hungry or under-nourished. Meanwhile, one-third of all food produced is never consumed, and an astounding one-quarter of fresh water used in agriculture goes to producing food that is never eaten.
As the world’s population grows toward 9 billion by 2050, placing ever greater demands on our available resources, businesses and communities can no longer afford these inefficiencies. Each pound of food produced that goes uneaten is a wasted opportunity to improve the health of people, the environment, and economies.
While the food security debate to date has largely focused on how to boost productivity using fewer resources on the same area of land, solving the problem of food loss on the front end of the supply chain is just as vital. It’s also easier to accomplish.
Solving the Solvable
The United Nations’ Global Goals provide a comprehensive vision for a sustainable future. However, their broad reach often leaves individuals, organizations, and governments wondering, “Where do we begin?” We believe that starting with a focus on specific, solvable problems, within the context of these Goals, offers a path forward to create enduring, systemic change.
At its heart, our approach to solving the problem of post-harvest loss focuses on the supply chain—from the field to the market. It starts with how and when farmers in the regions experiencing the greatest loss—especially small farmers—plant, harvest, and store their crops, and continues along the chain to consider the transportation, handling, processing, packaging, and marketing which is required to improve the amount of food that reaches consumers. An efficient, productive food system with minimized loss is our goal—and one that is well within reach. We can ensure people are fed and that small holding farmers move beyond subsistence incomes. The answers are evident, but they require investment, infrastructure, policy, technology, and real champions: committed collaborators across the public, private, and social sectors.