Thinking about the future of food chains through the lens of digital transformation

~SDGs No.12 Responsible consumption and production The global food crisis is getting worse. Did you know that 800 million people (one in nine worldwide) suffer from hunger, yet 1.3 billion tons of food are wasted every year around the world? To address this issue, the United Nations and stakeholders involved in the global food chain are working on SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and the Food Waste Reduction Promotion Act. In order to feed the world’s ever-growing population, the entire food chain, from traditional food production to consumption, needs to be reviewed. Global challenges, background on food loss In fact, there is enough food produced in the world during the year to distribute to the entire population. According to the United Nations WFP report, the world produces about 4 billion tons of food a year, of which 1.3 billion tons (one third) is wasted. The numbers are astonishing and at the same time the reasons for this disposal differ between developing and developed countries. The cause of waste in developing countries is “surplus crops;” in other words, overproduced food is thrown away. This is partly because individual farmers are unable to set up warehouses for long-term storage due to financial reasons, and vegetables that do not meet standards are often rejected by wholesalers. In developed countries, for example in Japan, food waste is 27.59 million tons per year, and the amount of food that could be eaten but is discarded is about 6.5 million tons per year. This means that each Japanese person throws away 51kg of edible food every year (according to the Consumer Affairs Agency.) In developed countries where each individual citizen has a commensurate income and is expected […]