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Collaboration Initiative Food Loss and Waste

Wasted fruits and vegetables
© StockCube/Fotolia

Collaboration Initiative Food Loss and Waste launched at Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists of G20 (MACS-G20)

Since the establishment of the new Collaboration Initiative Food Loss and Waste launched at the Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists of G20 (MACS-G20) in 2015, Germany took over leadership for further joint activities. First step was the establishment of an appropriate web portal with information about current research activities, latest innovations and available scientific expertise. In parallel, a kick-off workshop was organised and the position for a coordinator was established at Thünen-Institute of Market Analysis in June 2017 in order to facilitate international cooperation towards Food Loss and Waste Prevention.

Background and Objective

According to estimations carried out by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) the global edible food losses and waste summarise up to 1.3 billion tons per year. Resources which are used for food production such as seeds, agricultural area, fertilisers, fuel or manpower are unnecessary expended. No benefit can be opposed to the food production related negative environmental impacts as e.g. overfertilisation, water shortage,  greenhouse gas emissions). Most of the globally wasted food is disposed of directly to landfills and causes generation of methane due to the present anaerobic conditions (no presence of oxygen). Methane is an relevant greenhouse gas and contributes significantly to global climate change.

Beside the ecological consequences one has to consider also economic and social disadvantages due to wastage of food (such as increasing food prices, people with no access to food).

Due to this, food losses and waste should be tackled along the entire food supply chain in order to prevent its generation. Aim of the Collaboration Initiative Food Loss and Waste is to concentrate the research and political consulting capacities in order to mobilise a noticeable reduction of food losses and waste on a global scale.


Target Group

Focus group of the initiative are interested stakeholders of G20 countries which are supported in conducting food loss and waste prevention measures. Member states of the G20 are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Great Britain, the USA as well as the European Union. In addition to the members also guests attend the meetings. This is Spain and the following international organisations: Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International (CABI), International Center for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEM), Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), The Global Forum on Agricultural Research and Innovation (GFAR), Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN), International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Wheat Initiative.

The thereby enabled and implemented prevention measures should have an impact on various number of different stakeholders along the food supply chain on a global scale.


First step was to establish a global platform for experts and projects related to food loss and waste available for international researchers´ profiles and corresponding project results. The platform offers an overview of completed and current Food Loss and Waste research as well as the leading experts/institutions behind. That information can be used by interested stakeholders to find and approach international contact persons for planned research and implementation projects. In addition, the platform indicates research gaps which can be used for tailor-made national and international research funding schemes avoiding inefficiencies.

The next step for enhancing the initiative was a kick-off meeting held from June 20th to 22nd 2017 in Berlin. Participants from 17 countries as well as from FAO, OECD and EU-Commission presented and discussed success stories, considerable barriers, upcoming challenges as well as transferability to other countries. The conclusions from the workshop were used to develop the initiative´s  working schedule for the next four years. Our activities are summarised in the annual reports which can be found below.

In order to coordinate the initiative´s activities in a proper way, Thünen-Institute for Market Analysis established and filled a new position in mid of June 2017. Felicitas Schneider act as contact person for the initiative.

Links and Downloads

global research network on reduction of food losses & food waste (english only)

Annual Reports

Annual report 2017

Annual Report 2018

Annual Report 2019

Annual Report 2020

Annual Report 2021


June 20th to 22nd 2017: kick-off meeting in Berlin/Germany (english only)

November 20th to 21st, 2018: Regional Dialogue on Food Loss and Waste in Buenos Aires/Argentina (spanish, english). The resulting “Call to Buenos Aires Action on Food Loss and Waste” is available in english or spanish language.

October 16th to 18th, 2019: International Workshop on Food Loss and Waste Prevention targeting Southeast and East Asian region in Tokyo/Japan.

October 15th 2020: Regional (virtual) workshop on Food Loss and Waste Prevention targeting Gulf Cooperation Council Countries and Yemen

November 4th 2021: International Workshop on Food Loss and Waste Prevention targeting Mediterranean countries (agenda, participant list, summary)

October 5th-6th: Regional technical workshop on Food Loss and Waste in members of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (further information soon)

Website Collaboration Initiative Food Loss and Waste launched at MACS-G20


  1. 0

    Al-Khateeb SA, Hussain A, Lange S, Almutari MM, Schneider F (2021) Battling food losses and waste in Saudi Arabia: Mobilizing regional efforts and blending indigenous knowledge to address global food security challenges. Sustainability 13:8402, DOI:10.3390/su13158402

  2. 1

    Schneider F, Lange S (2021) Food loss and waste - An urgent global topic tackled by joint Sino-German activities. In: Sino-German Agricultural and Food Update : No. 16, August - October 2021. Sino-German Agricultural Centre (DCZ), pp 3-6

  3. 2

    Leverenz D, Schneider F, Schmidt TG, Hafner G, Nevarez Z, Kranert M (2021) Food waste generation in Germany in the scope of European legal requirements for monitoring and reporting. Sustainability 13(12):6616, DOI:10.3390/su13126616

  4. 3

    Fritzenwallner R, Schneider F (eds) (2021) Tagungsband "Smart Waste" : Reduktion des Lebensmittelabfalls ; Nachhaltigkeit und Wirtschaftlichkeit durch die Digitalisierung und das Internet der Dinge. Wien: Bundesministerin für Landesverteidigung BMLV, 149 p

  5. 4

    Schneider F (2020) 3.1. Felicitas Schneider: Lebensmittel und Abfall in Valentin Thurns TASTE THE WASTE. Thünen Rep 70:63-71

  6. 5

    Herzberg R, Schmidt TG, Schneider F (2020) Characteristics and determinants of domestic food waste: a representative diary study across Germany. Sustainability 12(11):4702, DOI:10.3390/su12114702

  7. 6

    Fernandez-Zamudio M-A, Barco H, Schneider F (2020) Direct measurement of mass and economic harvest and post-harvest losses in spanish persimmon primary production. Agriculture 10(12):581, DOI:10.3390/agriculture10120581

  8. 7

    Schneider F, Eriksson M (2020) Food waste (and loss) at the retail level. In: Reynolds C, Soma T, Spring C, Lazell J (eds) Routledge handbook of food waste. London; New York: Routledge

  9. 8

    Schneider F, Part F, Göbel C, Langen N, Gerhards C, Kraus GF, Ritter G (2019) A methodological approach for the on-site quantification of food losses in primary production: Austrian and German case studies using the example of potato harvest. Waste Manag 86:106-113, DOI:10.1016/j.wasman.2019.01.020

  10. 9

    Schmidt TG, Schneider F, Claupein E (2019) Food waste in private households in Germany : analysis of findings of a representative survey conducted by GfK SE in 2016/2017. Braunschweig: Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, 50 p, Thünen Working Paper 92a, DOI:10.3220/WP1558690073000

  11. 10

    Baig MB, Al-Zahrani KH, Schneider F, Straquadine GS, Mourad M (2019) Food waste posing a serious threat to sustainability in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia – a systematic review. Saudi J Biol Sci 26(7):1743-1752, DOI:10.1016/j.sjbs.2018.06.004

  12. 11

    Schmidt TG, Schneider F, Leverenz D, Hafner G (2019) Lebensmittelabfälle in Deutschland - Baseline 2015. Braunschweig: Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, 103 p, Thünen Rep 71, DOI:10.3220/REP1563519883000

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    Leverenz D, Moussawel S, Maurer C, Hafner G, Schneider F, Schmidt TG, Kranert M (2019) Quantifying the prevention potential of avoidable food waste in households using a self-reporting approach. Resources Conserv Recycl 150:104417, DOI:10.1016/j.resconrec.2019.104417

  14. 13

    Schmidt TG, Schneider F, Claupein E (2018) Lebensmittelabfälle in privaten Haushalten in Deutschland : Analyse der Ergebnisse einer repräsentativen Erhebung 2016/2017 von GfK SE. Braunschweig: Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, 57 p, Thünen Working Paper 92, DOI:10.3220/WP1523264518000

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