Sustainable food cold chains: opportunities, challenges and the way forward

  • 12/11/2022
  • FAO

As food insecurity and global warming rise, governments, international development partners and industry should invest in sustainable food cold chains to decrease hunger, provide livelihoods to communities, and adapt to climate change, according to this new report by the FAO and the UNEP

An estimated 14 percent of the total food produced for human consumption is lost, while 17 per cent is wasted. This is enough to feed around 1 billion people in a world where currently 811 million people are hungry and 3 billion cannot afford a healthy diet. The lack of effective refrigeration is a leading contributor to this challenge, resulting in the loss of 12 percent of total food production, in 2017. Moreover, the food cold chain is responsible for 4 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, including from cold chain technologies and food loss and waste due to lack of refrigeration. This report explores how food cold chain development can become more sustainable and makes a series of important recommendations. These include governments and other cold chain stakeholders collaborating to adopt a systems approach and develop National Cooling Action Plans, backing plans with financing and targets, implementing and enforcing ambitious minimum efficiency standards.