A number of studies are now linking food losses and waste to rises in inflation, food security, resource inputs and climate change as the global food industry experiences its third bout of inflation in five years due to poor agricultural harvests in the US, Russia and South America.

According to research firm Organic Monitor, analysts predict the average basket of food prices will rise by 15% by June 2013. Such a hike could have serious political and social repercussions for security of supplies going forward.

It is now widely thought that raising production levels alone will not solve the problem and that what is needed is greater efficiency in supply chains to raise food outputs and help reduce consumer prices.

These issues are due to be raised at the forthcoming Sustainable Foods Summit which will be held in San Francisco, US, next month with food waste as its central theme.

Speaking at the event will be the recently-formed Food Waste Reduction Alliance who will emphasise the importance of a collaborative approach to reduce food waste and in particular, how the private sector needs to work with government and NGOs.

The role of food companies and retailers in encouraging sustainable consumption will also debated.

Maxine Perella

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