On 29 September, the international community celebrates the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, recognizing the fundamental role that sustainable food production plays in promoting food security and nutrition. Across global food systems, food loss and waste is a widespread issue, posing a challenge to food security, food safety, the economy, and environmental sustainability. Actions are required globally and locally to maximize the use of the food we produce.


On 29 September 2023, the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste will be observed for the fourth time. Reducing food loss and waste is of significant importance as it contributes to the realization of broader improvements to agri-food systems toward achieving food security, food safety, improving food quality and delivering on nutritional outcomes. Reducing food loss and waste also contributes significantly to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, as well as pressure on land and water resources.

With less than seven years left to reach SDG goal 12, target 12.3 – by 2030 halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels, and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses – the fourth observance will highlight the urgent necessity to accelerate action to positively impact the pace of agrifood system transformation – with tangible benefits for people and planet.

Reducing Food Loss and Waste: Taking Action to Transform Food Systems

Reducing food losses and waste is essential in a world where the number of people affected by hunger has been slowly on the rise since 2014, and tons and tons of edible food are lost and/or wasted every day.

Globally, around 13 percent of food produced is lost between harvest and retail, while an estimated 17 percent of total global food production is wasted in households, in the food service and in retail all together.

The International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, with the 2023 theme “Reducing food loss and waste:  Taking Action to Transform Food Systems”, is an opportunity to call to action both the public (national or local authorities) and the private sector (businesses and individuals), to prioritise actions and move ahead with innovation to reduce food loss and waste towards restoring and building back better and resilient-ready, food systems.

Role of International Geneva

Our dedicated page on Food Loss and Waste dives deeper into issues at the nexus of food systems and the environment. It also lists relevant actions and actors in the Geneva region. Find out more below.


4th International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste

Official Celebration | FAO | 29 September 2023 | 16.00 – 18.00 CEST | FAO HQ & Online