About the project
The Food Waste Atlas is a global database for tracking food loss and waste across food types, sectors, and geography. It also contains inventories from countries, cities, companies and other organizations about the amount of food being lost or wasted within their own operations or boundaries.
The Food Waste Atlas is for anyone who is interested in the amount of food currently being lost or wasted globally. It can be used as a research tool for those who are interested in learning more about food loss and waste. For those with data to share, it can be a platform for sharing that data more widely. It can also be used to report food loss and waste inventories developed in conformance with the FLW Standard.
The Food Waste Atlas enables countries, cities, companies and other organizations to quantify how much food is lost and wasted, where food loss and waste occurs geographically and in the supply chain, and which food categories are most wasted. It also allows you to report your data on food loss and waste, either anonymously or publicly, in line with the Food Loss and Waste Standard.
The Food Waste Atlas gives you insights into how much food is going to waste potentially in your operations and your supply chain. It helps you target your efforts to reduce waste, identifying opportunities to realise environmental benefits and cost savings. Above all, it enables you to play your part in creating a more sustainable food system.
The data contained within the Food Waste Atlas can be used as proxy data for those who are getting started with measurement. By accessing the data contained in the Food Waste Atlas, companies, countries and other organizations can infer what may be happening within their own food supply chain based on existing data. This saves money and time, giving a head start on food loss measurement and waste reduction.
It is challenging to manage what you do not measure. Many countries, companies, cities and other organizations are currently unaware of how much, why, and where food is lost and wasted in the food supply chain. This makes it difficult to develop strategies and prioritize actions for preventing food loss and waste both in your operations and working with suppliers and your customers. The Food Waste Atlas helps you to address these challenges.
About data reporting
The data in the Food Waste Atlas has been drawn from a range of sources including publically available data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, academic literature, businesses and from national governments. It also includes anonymized company data. If you have further queries about this, please use the contact form.
The simplest way to start with measuring food loss and waste is by reading the short Executive Summary of the FLW Standard, which lays out the key definitions and requirements.
Next, turn to the full FLW Standard for tips and guidance. You can use the detailed Table of Contents to find what’s most relevant to you.
If you need gui`dance on quantification methods, download the chapters that apply to your situation. If you’re not sure which methods may best suit your situation, try the FLW Quantification Method Ranking Tool to see what may fit your needs.
The FLW Standard staff conducts regular trainings on using the standard and measuring food loss and waste. On the Trainings page you can download slides and recordings of webinars, and see what else is on the horizon.
Several guidance documents are available on the Tools & Resources page to walk you through the various steps involved in quantifying food loss and waste.
The Food Waste Atlas requires food loss and waste to be reported in terms of weight. However, if you’re looking to describe and convey the scale and relevance of lost or wasted food to your audience in additional terms, see Appendix C and Appendix D of the FLW Standard.
Appendix C provides guidance on dividing the weight of food loss and waste by a “normalization factor” to generate a metric, such as food loss and waste per capita or per turnover. Appendix D provides general tips, examples, and resources to convey the environmental impacts, nutritional content, or financial implications of lost or wasted food.