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The FAO estimates that about 1.3 billion tonnes of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally every year. Nevertheless, there is a considerable lack of information about this problem at different territorial scales (local, regional, national, international). The quantification of the food waste problem is important in order to understand the magnitude of this problem at these levels, to identify the root reasons and to implement different measures in order to address the problem.
Researchers from ACR+ member the Unversity fo Deusto have published a new methodology on the first step in food wastage quantification. The paper, “New methodology for facilitating food wastage quantification. Identifying gaps and data inconsistencies”, will be published in the 15 March edition of the Journal of Environmental Management. One of the six researchers who worked on the project, Héctor Barco Cobalea explained in an interview with ACR+ that the team “followed the path of the most relevant projects in this area, such as FUSIONS, REFRESH or the Food Loss and Waste Accounting Standard put together by the World Resources Institute. These projects provide relevant guidelines to measure this problem at these levels”. The Deusto University project contributes to “improving one of the first stages that a company, municipality or a country has to follow in order to measure food waste properly. This stage is called ‘establishing the scope’, and requires actors to answer the following question: <<where do we have to measure?>>”. The ability to answer this question is crucial because it enables the development of a harmonised waste measurement methodology and therefore the comparison of food waste streams at different levels.
“Currently, some territories are measuring different things and it is not possible to compare these numbers. Thanks to the use of NACE codes, this methodology is adaptable in different territorial scales” in the EU, Hector added, concluding that “this methodology provides baseline information to define priorities in a specific territory, thus allowing saving time and money”.
Available online since 17 January 2019, this study can be consulted for free at this link until 5 March 2019. After this date, it will be paywalled. 

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