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Food Waste reduction in Switzerland – interdependencies and rationales

Globally, it is estimated that a third of all food produced for human consumption is lost between farm and fork. In Switzerland, approximately 2.8 million tonnes of food is wasted annually along the entire value chain. Environmentally, food waste emits roughly 500kg of CO2e per person per year in Switzerland, while consuming unnecessary land the size of Kanton Zürich, affecting soil quality and reducing biodiversity, and wasting 600L of water per day per person.

In line with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, the Swiss Federal Council adopted the action plan (Chevalley Postulate 18.3829 in the National Assembly), addressing all companies and organizations in the food industry as well as the federal government, cantons and communes, to halve avoidable food losses by 2030 compared to 2017.

Food waste is an important and relevant topic for the Swiss economy, as well as for society and the environment. In order to better understand the actor rationales and interdependencies in food waste reduction, sus.lab conducts a one-year, interview-based project across the food value chain (funded by the MTEC foundation). The results will provide insights for both, large national actors such as Coop and Migros but also for smaller, local businesses such as transporters, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, food processors, or farmers. The results of the research will also provide transparency along the value chain and support regulators with recommendations.

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