Page 11 - Luciana Delgado Otero
P. 11

Chapter 1





                  and waste are far from guaranteed, and the impacts will differ according to where
                  food loss is reduced (FAO, 2019; Cattaneo et al., 2020).
                  However, when looking close into the food loss and waste problem important
                  challenges  are  found.  First,  most  of  the  literature  refers  to  the  terms  ‘Post-
                  Harvest Losses’ (PHL), ‘Food Loss’ (FL), ‘Food Waste’ (FW), and ‘Food Loss and
                  Waste’ (FLW) interchangeably, but they hardly ever refer consistently to the same
                  concept. For some authors, the distinction is linked to the stages at which losses

                  occur.  For  others,  the  distinction  is  based  on  the  cause  of  the  food  loss  and
                  whether it was intentional. Recent publications (FAO, 2014; HLPE, 2014; Lipinski
                  et  al.,  2013.  and  FAO,  2019)  have  tried  to  clarify  this  by  defining  FL  as
                  unintentional reductions in food quantity or quality before consumption. These
                  losses  usually  occur  in  the  earlier  stages  of  the  food  value  chain,  between
                  production and distribution, but they also occur during the wholesale and retail
                  stages.  PHL  is  an  element  of  FL  and  excludes  losses  at  the  production  level,
                  although  losses  during  harvest  are  sometimes  misleadingly  included  in  the
                  concept (e.g., Affognon, 2014; APHLIS, 2014). The FLW concept encompasses the
                  totality of losses and waste along the value chain with respect to total harvested
                  production  (FAO,  2014).  However,  this  definition  does  not  include  crops  lost
                  before harvest because of pests and diseases or crops left in the field, crops lost
                  due to poor harvesting techniques or sharp price drops, or food that was not
                  produced  because  of  a  lack  of  adequate  agricultural  inputs,  including  labor
                  availability and fertilizer. SDG 12.3.1 refers to losses from on-farm post-harvest
                  up to processing and packaging, including wholesale.

                  With the objective of resolving this challenge and of having a clear, consistent
                  definition targeting producers, in this dissertation, we will focus only on food
                  losses, and we will follow the definition of SDG 12.3.1. i.e., looking at food losses
                  across the value chain from o- farm up to wholesale market included.

                  Policies  to  reverse  this  situation  have  mainly  aimed  at  increasing  agricultural
                  yields and productivity, but these efforts are often cost- and time-intensive. In
                  addition, the loss of marketable food can reduce producers’ income and increase
                  consumers’ expenses, likely having larger impacts on disadvantaged segments of
                  the population. Therefore, this dissertation focuses on food losses as a way to



                                                                                         9
   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16