The Rockefeller Foundation has announced the launch of a seven-year, $130 million initiative to demonstrate how food loss and waste can be cut in half globally.
Continuing the foundation's legacy in global food security and agricultural productivity, the YieldWise initiative will engage private companies, nonprofit organizations, and governments in creating a more efficient and productive global food-supply system. In partnership with large multinational companies such as Coca-Cola and Dangote, the initiative will focus on connecting small and big businesses that can benefit from diversified sources and markets for their products and will make targeted investments aimed at dramatically reducing food waste generated by retail outlets and consumers in the United States and Europe. Initially, the foundation will focus its efforts in Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania, where up to half of some crops are lost to inefficiencies in harvesting, storage, processing, and transferring products to market.
The initiative also will focus on changing a variety of behaviors, from the way smallholder farmers grow and store their crops to how companies account for food loss and waste across their supply chains. The effort is expected to contribute to the economic development and global competitiveness of agriculture-dependent nations, which currently suffer when crops and food exports don't make it to market. It also will help to relieve the 25 percent of freshwater and 20 percent of farmland that is currently wasted on the production of unconsumed food.
"The amount of food lost or wasted before it ever reaches a table is simply unacceptable, with devastating impacts on people, profit, and planet," said Rockefeller Foundation president Judith Rodin. "Yet, it's a challenge that can be prevented with a blend of existing solutions, from technologies that help farmers keep more of what they grow to models for private-sector engagement that ensure those crops will be bought, rather than left to rot. Through YieldWise, the Rockefeller Foundation will finish the business we started with the Green Revolution more than a half-century ago — to ensure more of the world’s people are fed and the planet’s precious resources are protected."