Food Governance CoP: Managing Food Loss and Waste

Date: September 30, 2020
Time: 14h00 - 16h30
Venue: Live on Zoom & Facebook


In South Africa 10 million tonnes of food go to waste every year. That’s a third of the 31 million tonnes produced annually in South Africa. Of this, fruits, vegetables and cereals account for 70% of the wastage and loss primarily throughout the food supply chain – from farm to fork. The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research has valued this loss at R61.5 billion.

This meeting of the Food Governance Community of Practice aims to create awareness of various initiatives and strategies underway to reduce food loss and waste as well as identify further opportunities for partnerships and collaboration.


  • Sam Smout (Greencape);
  • Matlou Setati (Consumers Goods Council of South Africa)
  • Andy du Plessis (FoodForward South Africa);
  • Nicola Jenkins (Pinpoint Sustainability);
  • Gray Maguire (Western Cape Government);
  • Emile Fourie (Ywaste) and 
  • Linda Manyeza (Food Masters SA).

The energy wasted every year in South Africa for producing food that is not eaten is estimated as enough to power the City of Johannesburg for roughly 16 weeks. About 90% of waste in South Africa is disposed of to landfills, that are fast running out of space and where the food-waste component leads to the production of methane gas and carbon dioxide.

Food loss and waste represents a tragic waste of high value resources that could have been used to improve social and economic conditions in the country, and which equates to environmental damage through the loss of precious resources like water and energy. On the other hand waste reduction and cycling can be a way to build food system efficiencies, increase availability of surplus food for food aid, and promote transition to agro-ecological food systems governance.

This can include waste reduction strategies through:

  • enhanced value chain linkages and technology (storage, cold-chain, transport) and infrastructure (local markets);
  • interventions to improve, reduce or eliminate food packaging;
  • strategies to process surplus food and food waste for re-use (e.g. drying) and
  • the re-direction of food waste into composting, bio-digestors, or other processes to improve nutrient cycling (e.g. to urban agriculture) in the transition to closed-loop economies (agro-ecology, city-region food systems).

Click here to register for the webinar – You will get a confirmation email from Florian Kroll.

Reports and presentations from the previous CoP meetings can be found here. A 20 minute podcast based on the CoP meeting on Informal food traders on 28th April can be listened to below

Upcoming Events


We recognise that producers, processors, distributors and consumers are incorporated into the food system under varying terms and returns. We also recognise the economic, social, human and environmental health impacts associated with food security. Therefore our goal is to conduct research, build capacity and disseminate findings that will promote a sustainable food system in South Africa.


Our research is concerned with the scale, nature, causes and consequences of food insecurity in South Africa and elsewhere on the African continent. Thus our mission is to investigate products, technologies, processes and policies that can reduce food insecurity and mitigate its negative outcomes. We seek to make a difference to food security by linking innovative science with critical enquiry.