The Food Waste and Rescue in Israel Report
What does the report discuss?
The 7th Annual Food Waste and Rescue Report, examines in depth, with the help of globally accepted measurement tools, the governmental steps in OECD countries to implement policy tools to reduce food waste. While the government ministries formulated various plans to reduce poverty and to minimize the social gaps, it appears that when it comes to food waste and rescue, this issue is not a priority.
A comparison with countries around the world reveals that the food waste crisis is not unique to the Israeli economy. However, among the 18 countries measured in the policy index supporting food rescue and food waste reduction, Israel has implemented the fewest number of policy tools to eradicate this phenomenon, ranking it last of the 18 countries measured.
What is the issue of food waste?
Food waste refers to food that was intended for human consumption and for a variety of reasons was spoiled or wasted or not consumed. Food waste occurs at all stages of the food supply chain, from production, storage, packaging and processing stages to retail and consumption.
According to the Report’s estimates, the extent of food loss in Israel in 2021 is 2.6 million tons (52 billion lbs.) valued at NIS 21.3 billion (US $6.1b) which consists of 37% of food production in Israel. Of this, 50% of the food is salvageable and is fit for human consumption, translating to over 1 million tons (2 billion lbs.) at a value of NIS 7.5 billion (US $2.14b).
What are the report’s main conclusions?
Encouraging the implementation of food rescue policy tools is imperative. From an environmental perspective, it will enable optimal utilization of existing natural resources and the reduction of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Economically, food rescue is a proven alternative to food production; preventing waste of precious resources and saving the Israeli economy NIS 5 billion (US $1.43b) annually. Socially, food rescue contributes to reducing the poverty level in Israel and strengthens the vulnerable populations suffering from food insecurity. Rescuing just 20% of the food currently going to waste will close the entire food insecurity gap in Israel and cost only NIS 1.1 billion (US $314m).
We hope that the Report’s data will help highlight the urgent need for action and recognition by the state for food rescue, which can provide a response to millions who experience food insecurity in Israel, and the tens of thousands who have recently joined them.