This morning, Leket Israel in conjunction with BDO released its Third National Food Waste and Food Rescue in Israel Report at a press conference held at the Leonardo City Tower hotel in Ramat Gan.
According to the report, each year 2.3 million tons of food in Israel are wasted at a value of NIS 19.3 billion (US $5.6 billion) – around 33% of all the food produced. Of this, 1.1 million tons, NIS 7 billion (US $2 billion) is rescuable and fit for human consumption.
For the first time, this report includes a detailed analysis of food waste in the retail and distribution sectors (retail chains, open markets, local grocery stores and small retailers). The food waste in these sectors this year is 400,000 tons, worth NIS 4.2 billion (US $1.2 billion). The food that can be saved from these sectors is equivalent to NIS 3.5 billion (US $1 billion) – around half of the rescuable food lost in Israel. The primary causes of food loss in these industries are a close expiration date, aesthetic flaws in packaging and food that has been damaged.
According to Leket Israel CEO Gidi Kroch: “This report brings to light the enormous amount of food that can be saved if only there was greater awareness and adequate regulation. Approximately 18% of Israel’s population lives with nutritional insecurity, while Israel is ranked in 18th place in nutritional insecurity amongst OECD countries and ninth in spending on food for personal consumption.
This past year, Leket Israel rescued 15,500 tons of fruits and vegetables and 2.3 million cooked meals equivalent to NIS 150 million. Leket continues to work to raise the profile about food waste in Israel. Since the publication of the first report two years ago, Leket established food rescue initiatives in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Welfare. I call on other government ministries to take note of this issue and create a national program to reduce food waste, increase food rescue and advance the passage of the Food Donation Act in Knesset.”