WRI’s 10x20x30 Initiative mobilized some of the largest food retailers, providers and suppliers to address inefficiencies within the global food system by committing to halve their food loss and waste by 2030.

The Challenge

Each year, one-third of all food produced globally is lost or wasted between farm and fork, exacerbating food insecurity in a world where one in ten people are undernourished. This level of inefficiency is responsible for 8% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and equates to $940 billion in economic losses annually.

COVID-19 exacerbated the situation. Food redistribution declined, while demand rose due to increased unemployment levels. Additionally, crops went to waste when restaurants and food service businesses lost customers due to closures and distancing restrictions.

WRI’s Role

Reducing food loss and waste within private sector supply chains is essential to achieving Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.3 to cut food loss and waste in half by 2030. In 2019, WRI’s Champions 12.3 coalition created the 10x20x30 Initiative and recruited 12 food retailers and food service providers— representing six of the world’s largest food retailers, the second-largest food service provider, and major regional food retailers in Africa, the Middle East and East Asia.

In 2020, these food retailers each focused on recruiting 20 of their suppliers to halve their food loss and waste by 2030. WRI trained the new network of suppliers (nearly 200 in total) on how to implement the Target-Measure-Act approach. Suppliers set food loss and waste reduction targets; measure and identify food loss and waste hotspots using WRI’s Food Loss & Waste Protocol; and act on these hotspots. By leveraging the market power of retailers and food service providers, WRI achieved major commitments from food suppliers to reduce their food loss and waste.

The Outcome

The 10x20x30 Initiative’s 12 founding partners all engaged with approximately 20 of their own food suppliers on the importance of reducing food loss and waste. As a result, these 12 food retailers and providers inspired nearly 200 food suppliers to commit to cutting their food loss and waste by half by 2030. By incorporating food loss and waste reduction into their operations and strategy, food suppliers, retailers and providers are developing concrete actions to combat food insecurity, reduce GHG emissions and establish sustainable business models. Most importantly, these commitments signal that the food industry is shifting towards a model that prioritizes food loss and waste reduction and a sustainable food future.