Food access, poverty and food waste: new facets, statistical sources and analysis towards a sustainable management
Category: International Association for Official Statistics (IAOS)
The session “Food access, poverty and food waste: new facets, statistical sources and analysis towards a sustainable management” might be of interest to many WSC attendees, including those working with official statistics - because access to food and its responsible management and consumption represent more than one objective and target of the SDGs Agenda which has served as a call to action for world nations to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure economic, social, and environmental sustainability by 2030 - as well as those working with survey statistics - since survey statisticians can greatly contribute to refine and improve the process of data collection, availability and representativeness, which are essential to have a clear and accurate monitoring of the two phenomena, also at sub-nationality level - and also those researchers working on experimental sources of statistical data, policy advisors and practitioners. However, despite positive signs such as reducing relative income inequalities in some countries and assigning preferential trade status to lower-income countries, inequalities still exist.
In this framework, measuring access to basic needs, also using official statistics, allows tracking the ability of households or individuals to access food, which is one of the most important aspects of poverty to assess inequalities, thus linking poverty with health and social outcomes. Poverty and food insecurity may seem to refer exclusively to developing countries, but in fact it is a phenomenon that is also present in developed and rich countries (Hossain et al., 2021; Zaçe et al., 2021), including Europe (Beacom et al., 2020; Penne & Goedemé, 2021, Secondi and Marchetti, 2022) even before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
On the other hand, food waste represents a surplus of food production that generates approximately 2.6 trillion USD per year, including 700 billion USD in environmental costs and 900 billion USD in social costs (FAO, 2014) and therefore succeeding in reducing food waste offers multifaceted benefits for people and the planet, improving food security, addressing climate change, saving money, and reducing pressures on land, water, biodiversity and waste management systems (UNEP, 2021).
For these reasons, it is necessary to have as clear and detailed a picture as possible of these phenomena and through the use of official statistics (Secondi and Marchetti, 2022) as well as exploring the potential of existing sample surveys on household income and consumption expenditure (Beacom, 2022) once the dimensions of the problem have been outlined and constant monitoring framed, it will be possible to identify tools that - also through digitalisation - can enable effective and sustainable food management, by avoiding waste and reallocating the necessary resources, saving nutritious food to be redistributed to those in need, helping to eradicate hunger and malnutrition.
Therefore, the presentation of the above-mentioned contributions will allow for a more in-depth discussion on the methods and tools to be used to monitor these phenomena.
- Countering food waste through digital tools: statistical analysis at different territorial levels
- Measuring Economic Access to Food and Insecurity through Official Statistics. Qualitative and quantitative scales in the Mexican context
- OPTIMIZING FOOD MANAGEMENT IN SCHOOL CANTEENS: EVIDENCE FROM SWEDEN
- Tracking the price of everyday food goods in Italy. A spatial-temporal analysis using official and web-scraped data