The Food Loss and Waste Protocol is a global standard for the measurement of food loss and waste. It was proposed as an indicator for the SDG target 12.3, regarding processing, retail, consumers. It can be used by both countries and companies to measure FLW within their borders and supply chains. The FLW protocol provides a consistent and transparent basis for entities to quantify and report FLW. It includes requirements and provides guidance on implementing them, including why quantification is useful, what to quantify (in terms of timeframe, material type, destination and boundaries) and how to quantify (which quantification methods to use, how to sample, scale, and estimate uncertainty).

Food waste reduction possibilities by the retail sector include: Develop and improving practices and industry standards related to product sourcing.

In particular, standards used to accept or reject food produce. This can be done by introducing differentiated pricing and by relaxing aesthetics standards which can cause farmers to discard good quality produce for superficial reasons, such as shape or colour. Better anticipate changes in consumer demand and improve contractual terms for suppliers to reduce the freedoms to cancel or modify orders in timeframes that leave suppliers with unmanageable surplus. Create secondary markets for lower grade foods and facilitating the use of surplus.

Foods through food recovery and redistribution — such as food banks — and donations. Concordance reached by the HLTF entities: The basic principle in the role of the private sector is that it is primarily the people and companies acting in the food supply chain (farmers, traders, processors, retailers and consumers) that can reduce FLW at a significant scale. The public sector is indispensable in reducing FLW but its primary role is in facilitating action from these actors.

The private sector should support stakeholders in identifying needs for government investments and incentives. The private sector should communicate these needs to governments and development agencies and lobby for appropriate and immediate public action. The private sector should take a hierarchy approach, with prevention as the first option for reducing FLW. Where prevention is not possible, the order of priority is: recovery and redistribution to feed humans; recovery to feed animals; recycling for industrial purposes; and composting.

Incineration and disposal of waste in landfills are the last options. When there is lack of data to guide FLW reduction, the private sector can support assessments to generate the needed data, which may help their own businesses. The private could improve the transparency and sharing of FLW data across the food supply chain. The private sector should help prevent and reduce FLW through direct private investment in improved technologies and infrastructure needed along the food supply chain.

The private sector could also conduct research to support innovations. In addition it should invest in improving supply chain management, contractual arrangements with chain partners, production planning, providing credit and technical assistance, and partnerships with the public sector. The changed practices to promote reducing FLW in the food supply chain should be integrated into business practices and corporate responsibility policies.

Improve products so that they are less susceptible to FLW, modifying packaging, food labelling, storage and portion guidance. The retail sector could also raise consumers' awareness through product-specific prevention messages, for example, through shelf-talkers. The food service sector can reduce food waste. They can: inform consumers, restaurants, and institutions to adapt portion sizes to needs and eliminate quantity discounts; optimise demand forecasting by requesting reservations for breakfast in hotels or for lunches in cafeterias; have just in time food preparation, display smaller volumes of food at buffets and replenish buffets only as needed; raise awareness of customers about not taking more food than they can eat; offer greater variety in portion sizes; and make provisions for handling leftovers, such as “doggie-bags.”

.   .   .