SDG target 12.3 on food loss and waste: 2021 progress report

Brian Lipinski
Champions 12.3 and the World Resources Institute
Resource type:
Reports and discussion papers

SDG Target 12.3 on Food Loss and Waste: 2021 Progress Report is the sixth in an annual series of publications providing an assessment of the world’s progress toward achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 12.3.

SDG 12.3 "aims to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses” by 2030. This publication seeks to inform decision-makers in government, business, academia, and civil society about recent advances and what remaining steps need to be addressed if the world is to achieve the target.

Some of the key highlights from the report include: 

  • New estimates suggest that the global amount of food that is lost or wasted from the farm to the fork is higher than previously calculated.
  • This increase can be attributed to new findings that on-farm losses and consumer-level waste are more prevalent than suggested by past studies.
  • Although COVID-19 has slowed efforts to reduce food loss and waste, many developments in food loss and waste reduction have taken place over the past 12 months at all stages of the food supply chain.
  • Political attention on reducing food loss and waste appears to be growing, as evidenced by the 2021 Group of Seven (G7) ministers’ communiqué endorsing the Target-Measure-Act approach as well as by the prominent role of food loss and waste in the United Nations Food Systems Summit.
  • Nonetheless, with just nine years to go, the world overall is woefully behind where it needs to be if it is to achieve SDG 12.3 by 2030.
  • To address this shortcoming, many 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 monitor progress, and act boldly to reduce food loss and waste.

To read the full report, you can find it here: SDG target 12.3 on food loss and waste: 2021 progress report.

This resource presents evidence or data but has not been peer reviewed