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Waste Not
New WWF Tool Tackles Upstream Food Loss in Supply Chains

The tool provides actionable insights for food growers and buyers to map their current loss levels at the farm and develop new channels to utilize more of what is grown.

Today, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) launches the Global Farm Loss Tool for growers of all sizes to more easily measure and report on-farm food loss.

Developed by WWF and tested with members of the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF)’s Food Waste Coalition and their growers, the tool provides a user-friendly and simplified approach to help farmers and their buyers identify and address the cause of their on-farm food loss and its associated impacts — such as scope 3 emissions.

The tool targets the reduction of food loss at one of the most critical points of the global supply chain: on farm. Research from WWF and Tesco shows that as much as 1.2 billion tonnes — around 15 percent of all food produced — is lost on farms during, around and after harvest worldwide annually. Adding to the challenge, growers and buyers have limited data on the volume of unharvested products to know how much of what’s being left behind is marketable, non-marketable (which includes produce that is blemished or misshapen, but perfectly edible) or spoiled.

The Global Farm Loss Tool provides actionable insights for growers and buyers to map their current loss levels and develop new channels to utilise more of what is grown. The tool can be used to estimate how much surplus (grown to the point of maturity) was left behind in field post-harvest and at further stages across a farm’s operations (such as processing and packhouse). This first public iteration of the tool can be used for all crops — but especially fruits, vegetables and tree nuts.

“We need visibility to identify food loss hotspots and understand the reason behind them,” says Pete Pearson, Senior Director of Food Loss and Waste at WWF. “The Global Farm Loss Tool is designed to be part of that solution — helping fill the crucial gap of tracking primary and actionable food loss data at the farm level of global supply chains.”

The CGF supported the beta testing of the Global Farm Loss Tool through its Food Waste Coalition — which brings together 18 of the world’s largest food brands, retailers and manufacturers. The Coalition aims to halve global food loss and waste by 2030 in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3. Working with Coalition members, the CGF and WWF will continue to assess the impact of the new tool — reviewing how to improve the tool’s user experience, expand its utility in the field and for more food types across the global supply chain, and promote its usage to new growers and suppliers.

“Growers are vital to helping ensure a sustainable food system,” says CGF Director of Health and Sustainability Sharon Bligh. “The CGF is committed to supporting our members to help growers in their supply chains to track, address and ultimately reduce the footprint of agriculture. This data is essential for accelerating our transition to a more efficient and circular food system.”

The Global Farm Loss Tool is compatible with existing reporting programmes — including World Resources Institute’s 10x20x30 and WRAP’s Food Waste Atlas, and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Loss Index. Endorsed by the food loss experts at Champions 12.3, the tool will also be integrated into existing farm sustainability reporting frameworks, such as Sustainable Food Trust’s Global Farm Metric, and develop new capabilities to estimate the scope 3 emissions associated with on-farm food loss in the year ahead.

The tool is now available free of charge to growers and farmers worldwide at GlobalFarmLossTool.org.

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