SDG target 12.3 on food loss and waste: 2020 progress report

Brian Lipinski, World Resources Institute.
Resource type:
Reports and discussion papers

This is the fifth annual SDG 12.3 progress report to track and report on global progress towards achieving SDG 12.3 - to halve global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses, including postharvest losses, along supply chains by 2030.

This is a helpful report to increase impact through the Target-Measure-Act approach, and by providing examples of specific actions that were taken by governments and businesses to reduce food loss and waste, it demonstrates that change is possible. The Netherlands, for example, launched a public-private partnership "to reduce food waste at retail stores and restaurants, increase food redistribution efforts, and reduce in-home food waste."

Though this report highlights positive action, it finds accelerated action will be needed to meet the 2030 target, and key findings include:

  • The United Kingdom is the first country to get more than halfway toward meeting this target, having reduced its national post-farm gate food loss and waste levels by 27 percent from 2007 to 2018—suggesting that achieving the target is possible and even profitable.
  • Several companies such as Tesco (Central Europe), Campbell, and Arla Foods have achieved food loss and waste reductions of more than 25 percent—suggesting that achieving the target is possible for companies, too.
  • With just 10 years to go, the world overall is woefully behind where it needs to be if it is to achieve SDG Target 12.3 by 2030.
  • More governments and businesses need to aggressively pursue the Target-Measure-Act approach to reduce food waste: set a reduction target aligned with SDG 12.3, measure food loss and waste to identify hot spots and to monitor progress, and act boldly to reduce food loss and waste.


This resource has been peer reviewed