Food waste and food loss is a $2.5 trillion problem

December 14, 2022
2 minutes
reading time

Digital fresh forwarding can drive efficiency and accountability and help the fight against food loss.

Food waste and loss are often interchangeable but refer to different aspects of the global food supply chain.

Food waste refers to discarded edible food, either at the consumer level or during the production and distribution process. This can include uneaten food thrown away by households and food that grocery stores or restaurants discard due to spoilage or cosmetic imperfections. Food waste is a major problem, as it not only results in the loss of valuable resources but also has negative environmental impacts, such as the production of methane gas from landfills.

Food loss, on the other hand, refers to the reduction in edible food at various supply chain stages, from production to consumption. This can include pests, disease, and improper storage, which can cause crops to spoil or become unedible. Food loss can also occur due to inefficiencies in the supply chain, such as long distances between production and consumption, which can lead to spoilage.

In general, food waste and food loss are both major problems in the global food supply chain, and we need to address them to improve food security and reduce the environmental impacts of food production.

On a global stage, we waste 1.3B tons of food every year, according to The world bank estimates this issue to cost society around $2.5 trillion.  


Food waste is prominent in the richer areas of the world. In the US, food waste makes up almost 60% of the challenge. We buy more than we eat, which is a problem that many innovative companies like Too Good To Go try to tackle.

The world is hard at work to prevent food loss and waste. In the Netherlands, vertical farming has gained significant traction in recent years. Many companies adopt this innovative approach to food production. One of the main advantages of vertical farming in the Netherlands is the ability to grow crops in urban environments, which can help to reduce food waste in the supply chain. 

Crops grown in an urban environment can help reduce food waste. It brings production closer to consumption and not only reduces the distance that food needs to travel but also allows for more efficient distribution, which can help to reduce waste.

Shypple is a transport solution for the food supply chain. Growers and distributors accurately track the movement of their fresh produce and see every move as it happens. The benefit of a collaborative system is that all partners know every change, which reduces downtime and makes every move a little faster. Most communication today is manual; shypple takes those conversations into a standardized environment where everyone gets the same information at the same time, where they want it, be it by email or directly in the system.

Accurate information ensures accountability. Accountability creates trust and forward movement.

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