STATEMENT: World Lagging Woefully Behind on Ambition to Reduce Food Loss and Waste

NEW YORK (September 18, 2023)— Today, the United Nations General Assembly convenes the 2023 Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Summit, marking the halfway point to the deadline set for achieving the SDGs by 2030. The Summit will serve as a reality check and reset for global ambition on sustainable development. 

Sustainable Development Goal 12 seeks to “ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.” The third target under this goal (Target 12.3) calls for cutting in half per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer level, and reducing food losses along production and supply chains (including post-harvest losses) by 2030.  

Inspiring examples show that achieving SDG 12.3 is possible, and change can happen quickly. But, at this moment, the world is woefully lagging in progress overall.   

Following is a statement from the Co-Chairs of Champions 12.3, Hans Hoogeveen (Independent Chairperson of the Council at FAO) and Sunny Verghese (Co-Founder and Group CEO, Olam International Limited):  

“This year's SDG Summit was supposed to be the halfway point toward the world's goal of halving food loss and waste, and yet the global community is failing its mission.”  

“The damning truth is that one-third of the world’s food goes to waste every year, even as over 800 million people are left hungry. Rotting food left in fields and landfills causes up to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. And the global economy loses over $1 trillion each year because of lost or wasted food.  

“Without a transformative shift, the world will miss this singular chance to reap the social, environmental and economic benefits that would result from halving the amount of food that’s lost or wasted every year. We need to do more at country level, especially in Africa where the losses are highest. 

“As COP28 approaches, it is paramount that governments recognize halving food loss and waste by 2030 as a critical solution to the climate crisis and ensuring food security for a growing population. Investing more resources and funding into this fight is urgently needed.  

“The Champions 12.3 network is committed to using every lever we can to engage more countries, businesses, farmers and households in reducing their food loss and waste. Every person has a role to play, at every level of society.“ 


Contact: Jillian Holzer,