MACS-G20 Initiative on Food Loss and Waste


Wasted fruits and vegetables (c) StockCube/Fotolia
(© StockCube/Fotolia)

Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists of G20 collaboration initiative on Food Losses and Waste

Since the establishment of the new Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists of G20 (MACS-G20) Food Loss and Waste Initiative 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 Meeting of Agricultural Chief Scientists of G20 collaboration initiative on Food Losses 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 the members of MACS-G20 group 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 will be used to develop the initiative´s  working schedule for the next four years.

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 for the next four years.

Links and Downloads

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

Annual Reports

Annual report 2017 on deduced activities

Annual Report 2018 on deduced activities

Annual Report 2019 on deduced activities


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

Website MACS-G20 Collaboration Initiative Food Losses and Waste


Involved Thünen-Partners


6.2017 - 5.2021


Results 1 - 5 of 7

Begin   back   next   end

  1. 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
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 273 kb
  2. 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
  3. 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
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 905 kb
  4. 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
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 1088 kb
  5. 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
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 2403 kb

Results 1 - 5 of 7

Begin   back   next   end