Study finds Israel wasted NIS 18b of food in 2015

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Leket Israels first Food Waste and Rescue report says half of the food thrown away can be salvaged.

Leket Israel, together with BDO Ziv Haft, published Wednesday its inaugural Food Waste and Rescue in Israel report. The report is based on a specialized model which examines food waste in Israel along the entire value chain agriculture, treatment and packaging, industry, distribution, and consumption.

The report presents the waste ratio at each stage in the value chain, by translating into financial and quantitative terms the amount of food that could have been rescued.

The report found that food waste in Israel totals 2.5 million tons annually, amounting to 35% of the domestic food production. The financial value of the food wasted in Israel for 2015 stood at NIS 18 billion 1.6% of GDP.

The compounded food waste along the entire value chain amounts to 85 kilograms per household per month a value of NIS 616. Some 75% of the food waste, in quantitative figures, is in fruit and vegetables.

About half of the food wasted could be rescued a term to indicate the food was still fit for consumption. Rescue food in Israel was 1.3 million tons annually, a value of NIS 8 billion.

The report claims that every shekel invested in food rescue provides NIS 3.6 worth of food for the needy, making food rescue cheaper than the alternatives support, subsidies, or allowances by as much as 75%, and it has a significant environmental advantage.

Leket Israel CEO Gidi Kroch said, the central motive for food rescue is not charity or tzedakah, but an financial alternative to food production, that is worthwhile for the market. That is, alongside the important contribution to reducing inequality in the market.

According to the report, the value of the food required to bridge the gap between the yearly annual food expenses of the population that is currently food insecure (the bottom two percentiles) and normative good consumption (as in the third to fifth percentiles) stood at NIS 3 billion.

Saving 600,000 tons of wasted food a year about 25% of the food waste in Israel will save food worth NIS 3 billion: the amount needed to bridge the gap.

Kroch added, According to the figures, there is no doubt that food rescue should have a higher priority than the alternatives. To fully fund the gap in food consumption among the food insecure population without food rescue would cost NIS 3 billion per year.

Food rescue allows for an equal social goal, at a much lower cost of NIS 840 million annually. Essentially, food rescue can reduce the food security gap while saving 75% of the costs.

Implementing a gradual national target for reducing food waste in Israel by 50% by 2030 will allow Israel to join other Western countries which committed to the goal in September 2015.

Kroch summarized the report by saying it was possible and necessary to significantly raise the ratio of food rescued in Israel. Leket Israel set a goal of increasing the amount of food rescued in Israel by 300% by 2020. The organization listed several steps that required legislative assistance but would not cost the state a single shekel including the passage of a law similar to the Good Samaritan legislation in the US.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 7, 2016

Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2016

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