Companies Could Save Up to $700 Billion Annually in Food Waste Costs

Annual food waste is expected to grow explosively between now and 2030, projected the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in a new report. “Roughly one-third of the food produced around the world goes to waste,” says Esben Hegnsholt, a BCG partner and co-author of the report. “This represents a challenge so massive that it was included in the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. But while it is a daunting problem, there are steps that can be taken today, actions that draw on currently available technology and know-how, to dramatically slash food loss and waste across the value chain.” While food waste and loss are expected to reach 2.1 billion tons, worth $1.5 trillion, by 2030, by taking assertive action, companies, agricultural players, governments and others can take steps that could save up to $700 billion in food waste annually. The report identified initiatives companies can take to address the issue, including:

  • Educating farmers, consumers, and company employees on the issue of food loss and waste and steps they can take to reduce it.

  • Improving supply chain infrastructure for the food industry, including investment in cold chain systems.

  • Adopting digital, big data, and other tools to slash loss and waste and developing company KPIs and processes to drive reductions.

  • Improving collaboration across the food value chain, including between agricultural producers and food processors.

  • Advocating for changes to regulations and tax policies that would reduce loss and waste and encourage the repurposing and recycling of food.  

A copy of the report can be downloaded here.