The on-going food crisis initiated in 2006/2007, which saw food riots and political turmoil, has refocused attention on the vital importance of food availability and resource conservation. Reducing postharvest losses offers a means of increasing food supply without any further increase in the use of vital resources such as land, labour, water and agricultural inputs.
In developing countries, food losses are associated with activities near to farm while food waste is considered a more minor issue. Conversely, in middle income and developed countries it appears that food waste close to the consumer, such as supermarket waste and domestic and restaurant table waste, is of much greater significance than farm losses.
In developing countries most food losses happen close to farm
NRI has taken a lead in reviewing the options for loss and waste reduction measures and is backstopping the intellectual process of defining opportunities to reduce losses and waste. With southern partners NRI is involved in numerous projects that tackle losses and waste directly or indirectly as well as having advisory roles in projects, especially where these involve large-scale implementation.