The Food Waste and Rescue in Israel Report

What does the report cover?

The Food Waste and Rescue in Israel Report, being published for the fourth year by Leket Israel and BDO Israel, addresses the problem of food waste in Israel in a variety of sectors. The inaugural report focused on food waste in the agricultural sector, the second publication of the report emphasized food waste in the institutional sector (hotels, restaurants, cafeterias, etc.) and in the third year the food loss in the retail and distribution sector.

This year, for the first time, the Report presents a detailed model for estimating food loss in the household consumption sector of households in Israel and compared to other countries around the world.

What is the issue of food waste?

Food waste occurs when food that is fit for human consumption is destroyed or allowed to spoil instead of being eaten. Food loss occurs at all stages of food manufacturing from production, storage, packaging and processing, to the retail and consumption stages.

According to the 2018 Food Waste and Rescue Report produced by Leket Israel and BDO, the volume of food loss in Israel stands at 5.5 million pounds at a value of about $5.5 billion, which constitutes about 35% of the volume of food production in Israel. Of this, there is a loss of salvageable food, that is edible food amounting to about 2.6 billion pounds and worth about $2 billion.

What are the report’s main conclusions?

This year’s Report includes a detailed model for the estimated loss of food in the household consumption sector. The volume of food loss in this sector amounted to 1,940 million pounds and a value of $2.2 billion. An average family in Israel throws away $890 a year, equivalent to a month and a half of food consumption, mainly due to the wasting of fruits and vegetables.

In addition, the Report reveals the impact of food loss on the cost of living: the effects of loss at all stages of the value chain increase the food prices by 11% and the loss of food harms the economy’s productivity due to lost production and labor inputs.

Following the recommendations of the Report, we hope that decision-makers in Israel will move from the declarations stage to the action stage and formulate a National policy that will bring about a real change in the patterns of food rescue in Israel.