Food waste: the problem of measurement and availability of data


Purpose – The main objective of the study is to present the problem of food waste as a real and significant problem, which has not been adequately addressed by international and national institutions. The most important issue seems to be the lack of a well defined and accurate methodology to measure this phenomenon at the national level, which is necessary to take appropriate steps to counteract the problem of food waste.
Research method – The paper provides an overview of the current state of knowledge and available statistics describing the scale of food waste. At the beginning, food waste is defined on the basis of international agreements, documents and research. Next, on the basis of various studies and data sources, the estimated amounts of food waste on a global and European scales are quoted.
Results – The analysis of available statistics proves that food waste around the world is enormous and varied depending on a geographical region and on the stage of the life cycle of the food product.
Implications/recommendations – The paper implies that harmonizing the classification and methodology of gathering representative data is necessary. Such work should be a priority for organizations participating in the debate on the issue of food waste.


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How to Cite
BEDNARCZUK, Aleksandra; ŚLESZYŃSKI, Jerzy. Food waste: the problem of measurement and availability of data. Optimum. Economic Studies, [S.l.], n. 3(97), p. 19-32, july 2019. ISSN 1506-7637. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 18 jan. 2020. doi:
Studies and dissertations