Collaboration Initiative on Food Losses & Food Wastes launched at MACS-G20

Reducing food losses & food wastes (FLW) is a key global challenge to ensure sufficient and healthy food for the future and to use available resources – arable land, water, nutrients, energy, labour – as efficiently as possible.

Background & Objective

Radical reduction of food losses and waste (FLW) is a crucial issue to ensure global food security and to use the available resources in the best manner possible. Not for nothing United Nations identified FLW reduction as Goal 12.3 of Sustainable Development Goals.

Hence at MACS Meeting 2015 in Izmir (Turkey) the G20 States decided to place emphasis on FLW. Germany was charged with developing relevant activities. First step was the establishment of an appropriate web portal with information about current research activities, latest innovations and available scientific expertise.

But only collecting and documenting information isn’t enough. In fact G20 States should unite their strong potentials and make significant contribution to real progress. So as next step a joint MACS initiative is scheduled pooling promising research findings, innovative technological and logistical solutions, successful campaigns etc. concerning FLW reduction. Goal is to organize "touchable" progress.

Germany coordinates the bi- and multilateral activities of the initiative. For further information please contact Dr. Felicitas Schneider at Thünen-Institute of Market Analysis.

Web portal regarding FLW research & experts

Registration at the web portal is open to experienced persons working in the field of food loss and waste prevention at any point of the whole food supply chain. Registration is free of charge. Aim of the platform is to provide direct contact to experts on FLW on a global scale.

MACS driven web portal

Sustainability Special Issue "National Strategies for the Prevention and Monitoring of Food Loss and Waste"

Dr. Thomas Schmidt, Stefan Lange and Dr. Felicitas Schneider from Thünen Institute worked as guest-editors for a special issue of the Journal "Sustainability" addressing „National Food Loss and Waste Prevention Strategies and Monitoring approaches – an interdisciplinary challenge for decision makers, researchers and practice“.

Finally, we achieved the valuable contribution from 10 international author groups who went successfully through the review process. The papers include experiences from Egypt, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and United States of America. They are freely available for download here through open access. We would like to thank all colleagues who shared their valuable insights with us!

Workshops for joint FLW action

1st FLW Workshop, June 2017, Berlin/Germany

Successful MACS driven activities concerning FLW reduction require both a coherent strategy and its well-considered implementation. As announced at MACS Meeting 2016 in Xi’an (China), this perennial process started with a kick-off workshop of interested MACS partners in June 2017 in Berlin.

One aim of our activities is to organise an international FLW workshop annually in cooperation with that G20 member who holds the present G20 presidency. The corresponding workshop should be dedicated to specific Food Loss and Waste topics relevant for the region and open for various stakeholders.

2nd FLW Workshop, November 2018, Buenos Aires/Argentina

Thus, the second FLW workshop was organised in November 2018 in Buenos Aires/Argentina. The Argentinian Secretary of Agroindustry, FAO Latin America and the Caribbean, FAO Argentina, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) and Thünen Institute organised the side event “Regional Dialogue on Food Loss and Waste: Latin American solutions and initiatives” that was embedded within the FAO event “Week of Food and Agriculture”.

In plenary and working group sessions several issues of food loss and waste were presented and discussed among the approx. 50 participants from eleven Latin American and Caribbean countries. The participants represented a very good mix of policy decision makers, food producers, NGOs, international associations and researchers.

At the end of the workshop, the “Call to Buenos Aires Action on Food Loss and Waste” was signed by all organisers and by representatives from the Interamerican Development Bank, the Consumer Goods Forum as well as the Global Food Banking Network (english version, spanish version of the call). By signing this Call the participants underlined their strong commitment for future joint cooperation and support of food waste prevention activities in the region.

3rd FLW Workshop, October 2019, Tokyo/Japan

The "International Workshop on Food Loss and Waste Prevention targeting Southeast and East Asian region" as third event of the series took place in Tokyo from October 16th to 18th, 2019. It was implemented together with UN Environment’s programme of regional capacity building workshops on FLW and the FAO´s World Food Day 2019. The organisation team included the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan as the presidency holder of 2019 MACS-G20, FAO Japan, UN Environment and Thünen Institute.

The aim of the workshop was to support the delivery of SDG Target 12.3, halving food waste at retail and consumer level, and reducing food loss across the supply chain as well as to facilitate the cooperation and network building among countries in Asia with respect to sharing knowledge and experiences in measuring and reducing FLW at all levels. It provided guidance on setting baselines and measuring progress on FLW, defining a national strategy on FLW reduction, developing effective actions targeting households and the supply chain, and using FLW to raise ambition on greenhouse gas reduction in the 2020 Nationally Determined Contributions revision.

In total, 78 participants from Japan, Singapore, China, Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and Germany as well as from FAO and UNEP attended the workshop at United Nations University Headquarters (UNU Centre, Tokyo). A workshop summary is provided to the public for further inspiration and networking.

Please find the presentations as links embedded to the following agenda.

October 16th, 2019
14:30 - 17:30                              

To Sumitomo Bakelite Co. Ltd.

18:00 – 19:20

Symposium as World Food Day Event
organised by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), World Food Program (WFP) and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

19:30 – 20:50

Welcome reception
organised by FAO, IFAD, WFP and Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) with contribution of Mr. Nakamura (FAO National Goodwill Ambassador for Japan)

October 17th, 2019 (Elizabeth Rose Conference Hall, 5th floor)
chair: Mr. Shunichi Honda (UNEP)
9:00 - 09:30                                           

Welcome address
by Mr. Yoshihisa Hishinuma (Director-General, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Council Secretariat, MAFF/Japan)
Mr. Masa Iwanaga (Chair of 2019 MACS-G20/Japan)
Mr. Shunichi Honda (Programme Officer, International Environmental Technology Centre/UNEP)
Mr. Charles Boliko (FAO LOJ Director)
Mr. Stefan Lange (Research Director of Thünen Institute/Germany)

09:30 – 09:50

Keynote speech “Background of the Promulgation of the Act on Promotion of Food Loss and Waste Reduction in Japan”
by Ms. Toshiko Takeya, Member of the House of Councillors, the National Diet of Japan; Secretary-General of the Parliamentary League for reducing food loss and supporting food banks

09:50 – 11:20

Session 1: FLW measurement and reporting
“SDG 12.3 and the Food Waste Index” (Ms. Clementine O´Connor/UNEP)
"Definition and subcategories of food waste" (Ms. Tomoko Okayama, Taisho University/Japan)
“Food losses and food waste in China: A first estimate” (Ms. Chong Li, China Chain Store & Franchise Association /China)

11:20 – 11:35Coffee break
11:35 – 13:05

Session 2: Household Food Waste
“The Myth of Best-Before dates - Possible Countermeasures to Reduce Food Loss and Waste” (Ms. Rumi Ide, CEO of office 3.11, inc. and Journalist/Japan)
"Review of household food waste sorting analyses in Japan" (Mr. Hajime Yamakawa, Kyoto Prefectural University/Japan)
interactive session lead by Mr. Kohei Watanabe, Teikyo University/Japan, Mr. Hajime Yamakawa, Kyoto Prefectural University/Japan, Ms. Tomoko Okayama, Taisho University/Japan

13:05 - 13:15Group photo
13:15 - 14:00Lunch
October 17th, 2019 (Elizabeth Rose Conference Hall, 5th floor)
chair: Ms. Anuda Tawatsin (Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment/Thailand)
14:00 – 15:30                                               

Session 3: Legal challenges and policy options
"Legal and policy framework on food waste in Japan and consequences in practice" (Mr. Tomio Kobayashi, Aichi Institute of Technology/Japan)
“Legal compliance with FLW prevention in hotel and resorts business” (Ms. Jie Zhao, SANDS/Macao, link to Sustainability Report 2018 on pages 9, 10, 12, 20, 23 and 27)
“Legal compliance and Implementation of the Circular Economy for Food Waste Reduction & Handling in Macao and Hong Kong” (Mr. Warren Man Ho Li, Ultra Clean Waste Services Limited/Macao)

15:30 – 16:00Coffee break
chair: Mr. Kohei Watanabe (Teikyo University/Japan)
16:00 - 17:00

Session 4: poster session
venue: Committee Room 2+3 (next to Elizabeth Rose Conference Hall)

“Utilisation of food waste to animal feed – the example of ecofeed” (Mr. Tomoyuki Kawashima/University of Miyazaki/Japan)
“Hydrothermal decomposition changes food waste to liquid fertilizer” (Mr. Kiyoshi Ozawa/Meiji University/Japan)
“Demonstration objects foldable doggy bags” – (Mr. Tomio Kobayashi/Aichi Institute of Technology/Japan)
“EcoBuy – food waste reduction at consumer and retailer” (NTT Docomo/Japan)
“Productivity improvement project using weather and demand forecasting” (Japan Weather Association/Japan)
“Recycling system for Food loss and waste in rural community” (Ms. Tomoko Ichida, Meiji University/Japan)
“Utilisation of food waste to livestock feed” (Mr. Koichi Takahashi, Japan Food Ecology Center/Japan)
“Reducing food loss and waste in Japan” (Ms. Hiroko Miura and Mr. Yuji Sato, MAFF/Japan)
Participants will split into smaller groups and attend first a 5 minutes presentation directly at the poster of their interest before detailed discussion with poster contributors start.

17:00 – 18:30

Session 5: Post-harvest losses – challenges and perspectives in East and Southeast Asian countries
initial presentation: “Research overview of technologies to smartize the whole food value chain to contribute the prevention of food loss” (Mr. Yutaka Ishikawa, NARO/Japan)
presentations for group working:
“Horticultural Chain Management in South-East Asian Countries” (Ms. Rosa Rolle, Nutrition and Food Systems Division/FAO)
“Food Loss Indicator” (Ms. Carola Fabi, Statistics Division/FAO)

October 18th, 2019 (Elizabeth Rose Conference Hall, 5th floor)
chair: Mr. Stefan Lange (Thünen Institute/Germany)
09:00 - 09:30                                          

Session 6: Adressing Food Waste in the food service sector
initial presentation: “Survey on methods to reduce food loss and waste for sports events” (Ms. Hiroko Miura, MAFF/Japan)
presentations for group working:
“Experiences of FLW prevention in Chinese restaurants” (Mr. Xueyou Chu, Inner Mongolia XiBei Catering Group Co., Ltd/China)
“Semi-automatic recording of FW in restaurants” (Mr. Maxime Pourrat, Winnow Solutions/Singapore)

10:30 - 11:00Coffee Break
11:00 - 12:30

Session 7: National Stategies on Food Loss and Waste
"Elements for national strategies on FLW" (Ms. Clementine O´Connor/UNEP)
"Thai Strategy on FLW" (Ms. Anuda Tawatsin, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment/Thailand)

12:30 - 13:30Lunch
chair: Mr. Kohei Watanabe (Teikyo University/Japan)
13:30 – 14:30

Session 8: Facilitating cooperation and network building on Food Loss and Waste in the region
"APEC regional network on FLW" (Ms. Ching-Cheng Chang, Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica/Taiwan; Coordinator of the APEC-FLOWS Initiative on Food loss and waste)
Facilitated discussion on what is needed to strengthen regional cooperation on FLW in Asia.

14:30 – 15:00

Wrap up and closing remarks
by organising partners (MAFF, UNEP, FAO, Thünen Institute)



4th FLW Workshop, October 2020, Saudi Arabia

The "Regional Food Loss & Waste Workshop" as fourth event of the series took place as hybrid event hosted in Riyadh on October 15th, 2020. The organisation team included the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture of Saudi Arabia as the G20 presidency holder of 2020 as well as Thünen Institute.

The 65 participants from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Lebanon, Egypt, Bahrain and Germany as well as from the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) represented the scientific community, companies, interest groups as well as authorities.

The aim of the workshop was to provide impetus for the establishment of regional networks and cooperation along the value chain to facilitate further monitoring of food loss and waste and im-plementation of prevention measures in Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Particular emphasis was placed on the link between food security and food waste, business models for prevention, the contribution of households to the topic and the role of an unbroken cold chain as well as reliable infrastructure. Participants also reported on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the food supply chain in their countries and the measures taken to secure the supply and avoid unused surpluses. Special emphasis was placed on the cultural characteristics of the region, such as the joint celebration of large festivals, which lead to above-average amounts of surplus food. In addition to technical solutions to the special challenges posed by the region´s climate, the conference therefore called for awareness-raising measures for all stakeholders.

The host country Saudi Arabia is the only one in the Gulf region that has already published a baseline for the amount of food waste generation in 2019. Other countries in the region now want to follow this example and benefit from Saudi expertise.

Please find the agenda as well as the presentations by session embedded in the following list. Some impressions of the hybrid event can be found in the photo gallery below.

Thursday, October 15th 2020

12:30 - 12:45

Opening session

Welcoming Address Chairperson of the G20-MACS 2020

Prof. Suliman Ali Al-Khateeb (Director General Plant Resources, Ministry of Environment, Water & Agriculture, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)


Mr. Stefan Lange (Research director, Thünen Institute, Germany)

UNEP Overview of Food Loss & Waste Initiative

Mr. Sami Dimassi (Director and Regional Representative, West Asia Office, United Nations Environment Programme)

12:45 - 13:30
Session 1. Food Losses & Waste Strategy to enhance Food Security

Moderator: Miss Arwa Numan (Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

Food Waste and Loss: an integral part of achieving sustainable Food Security

Mr. Essa AbdulRahman AlHashemi (Head of Food and Water Security, United Arab Emirates)

Food Loss and Waste in the wheat value chain of Egypt, Jordan and Morocco

Dr. Yigezu Atnafe Yigezu (International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Egypt)

Food Security Strategy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Eng. Abdullah AlRabiah (Saudi Grains Organisation (SAGO), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

Discussion (15 min)

13:30 - 14:20Session 2. Strategies for fighting food waste in business sector

Moderator: Dr. Felicitas Schneider (coordinator FLW Collaboration Initiative launched at MACS-G20, Thünen Institute, Germany)

Challenges for Food Loss and Waste infrastructure and logistics in Gulf Cooperation Council countries

Mr. Najeeb Alhumaid (Farrelly & Mitchell Business Consultants Ltd.)

Measuring Food Waste at hotels and restaurants and economic benefit from prevention: The Food Waste Opportunity

Mr. Ignacio Ramirez (Winnow Solutions, United Arab Emirates)

Food Bank cooperation as a strategy to fight Food Waste

Mr. Amer AlDakhil (Secretary-General Specialized Council for the Preservation of Grace, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

Discussion (20 min)

14:20 - 14:40
Coffee break
14:40 - 15:30Session 3. Food Waste at Household level

Moderator: Miss Arwa Numan (MEWA, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

Food Waste Index

Mrs. Clementine O´Connor (Programme Management Officer, UNEP)

Strategies for Food Waste Reduction at Household level

Mr. Tarik Ismail (Chief Executive Officer, Savola World)

Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Food Loss and Waste Baseline

Dr. Mohammed S. Alamri (Saudi Grains Organisation (SAGO), Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

Discussion (20 min)

15:30 - 16:20
Session 4. Panel Discussion on the role of Cold Chain in Gulf Cooperation Council region to consolidate food supply chain

Moderator: Mr. Stefan Lange (Thünen Institute, Germany)

Cold Chain Strategy to consolidate food chain in GCC countries

Mr. Abdullah Hamdan Al-Anazi (LuLu Saudi Hyper Market)

Cold Chain Strategy to consolidate food chain in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Prof. Salah Mohammed Aleid (King Faisal University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

Discussion (30 min)

16:20 - 16:30
Closing session

Concluding Remarks

Dr. Felicitas Schneider (Thünen Institute, Germany)

Closing Remarks

Prof. Suliman Ali Al-Khateeb (MEWA, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)



5th FLW Workshop, November 2021, virtual/Italy

The annual series of regional FLW workshops was continued on November 4th, 2021 and dedicated to the respective G20 presidency country - which was Italy in 2021 - and the neighbouring region. The organisation team included FAO Rome (Italy), UN Environment (France), University Bologna (Italy), University Tuscia (Italy), RSC talent (Spain) and Thünen Institute (Germany).

The aim of the workshop was to support the delivery of SDG Target 12.3, halving food waste at retail, food service and household level, and reducing food loss across the supply chain as well as to facilitate the cooperation and network building among Mediterranean countries. Due to the pandemic, the length of the workshop was shortened to a one day virtual meeting.

The topics therefore have to focus on selected issues which have been identified as relevant challenges within the region:

  • Food Loss in Primary Production
  • Food surplus and waste from tourism activities as well as
  • Addressing Food loss and waste in educational campaigns

As the Mediterranean region is characterised by the influence of three continents and corresponding culture, policy, infrastructure, legislation and climate conditions, we invited contributors from all three subregions (Northafrican coast, West Asian coast and Southeuropean coast) to share their valueable knowledge on FLW prevention. The programme followed our strategy to enhance knowledge exchange and structured discussion among our participants in order to support action. Each session consisted of introductory plenary presentations to provide input on the specific session topic followed by group working guided by key questions. A final plenary session was scheduled in order to allow a broader discussion of the interrelation of the three session topics and the context to other levels of the food supply chain and to summarise the results.

Please find the agenda here.

In total, 90 stakeholders from national and local policy makers, universities, private and public research institutions, social welfare organisations, food companies, waste management companies and consultants from 27 different countries joined us and shared their valuable experiences!

A summary, some photos and the presentations will be provided here soon!

6th FLW Workshop, 2022, Indonesia

The regional FLW workshop will be organised in cooperation with Indonesia in 2022. We will provide further information here.

Pictures from 3rd FLW Workshop, October 2019, Tokyo/Japan

Group photo with excursion participants at Sumitomo Bakelite Co. Ltd. (© ) The participants of the excursion are receiving information on the MAP technology and the advantages for shelf-life of packaged food items. (© ) Participants watch out for micro holes in plastic film. (© ) Demonstration objects to compare the impact of different packaging options on specific food items at Sumitomo Bakelite Co. Ltd. (© ) Mr. Charles Boliko, director at FAO Liaison Office Japan, welcomes the participants at the World Food Day Event. (© ) Mr. Nakamura who is FAO National Goodwill Ambassador for Japan explains his professional point of view towards prevention of food waste. (© ) Participants enjoying the welcome reception while the No-Foodloss project POPs on the tables remembers to finish everything on the plate. (© ) Stakeholders from Japan, Singapore, China, Macao Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Saudi Arabia and Germany as well as from FAO and UNEP discussed Food loss and waste topics at the workshop in Tokyo. (© ) Ms. Toshiko Takeya, Member of the House of Councillors as well as Secretary-General of the Parliamentary League for reducing food loss and supporting food banks, contributed with a keynote speech. (© ) Ms. Kae Mihara (FAO Japan), Mr. Kazuhiko Shimada (MAFF), Ms. Toshiko Takeya (Member of House of Councilors) and chairman Mr. Stefan Lange (Thünen Institute) at beginning of a session. (© ) Ms. Dr. Tomoko Okayama from Taisho University explains the interactive sorting analysis to one of the six working groups. (© ) Discussions on the individual classification of tricky food items in the course of the interactive sorting analysis showed cultural differences and preferences of the represented countries also in the working group facilitated by Mr. Dr. Hajime Yamakawa from Kyoto Prefectural University. (© ) Prof. Dr. Tomoyuki Kawashima from Faculty of Agriculture Miyazaki University informed the participants towards the "Utilisation of food waste to animal feed – the example of ecofeed". (© Felicitas Schneider/Thünen Institute) "Hydrothermal decomposition changes food waste to liquid fertilizer" was the issue of the poster provided by Prof. Kiyoshi Ozawa, Prof. Tomoko Ninagi and Prof. Shunrokuro Fujiwara from Kurokawa Field Science Center at Meiji University. (© Felicitas Schneider/Thünen Institute) A collection of colorful and practicable doggy bags was provided by Mr. Dr. Tomio Kobayashi from Aichi Institute of Technology together with useful information on how to use doggy bags. (© Felicitas Schneider/Thünen Institute) The poster “EcoBuy – food waste reduction at consumer and retailer” presented by Ms. Mizue Akaishi from NTT Docomo informed about the developed app targeting consumers. (© Felicitas Schneider/Thünen Institute) “Productivity improvement and FW prevention using advanced weather and demand forecasting” was content of the poster presented by Ms. Emiko Koga from Japan Weather Association. (© Felicitas Schneider/Thünen Institute) Prof. Dr. Tomoko Ichida from Meiji University informed about “The utilization of Organic wastes in Rural Area”. (© ) Japan Ecology Center, represented by Mr. Dr. Koichi Takahashi, provided information related to “Utilisation of food waste to livestock feed” for the participants. (© ) The poster “Reducing food loss and waste in Japan” was provided by Ms. Hiroko Miura and Mr. Yuji Sato from Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) of Japan. (© Felicitas Schneider/Thünen Institute) The poster session provided room for detailed discussions on further FLW prevention as well as utilization and recycling options and individual contact among international participants. (© ) Mr. Stefan Lange, Research Coordinator at Thünen Institute, thanked Ms. Toshiko Takeya, Member of the House of Councillors, for her valuable participation in the FLW workshop and presentated German specialities. (© Felicitas Schneider/Thünen Institute) In the course of session 6, the participants discussed in small working groups how to address FW prevention in the food service sector in East and Southeast Asia. (© ) Ms. Clementine O´Connor from UNEP explains the tasks for the following working group section to the participants. (© )