Currently over a third of all food produced is lost or wasted along supply chains and at consumer levels, with considerable impacts on both the availability of food and the environmental sustainability of food systems. The challenge is particularly pronounced for fresh fruit and vegetables, which are frequently traded over large distances, involving several actors. Their perishable nature means that loss and waste can be high in fresh fruit and vegetable supply chains unless the produce is handled carefully by all actors along the chain – from producers, to traders, transporters, and retailers.
The UNECE Code of Good Practice provides guidance to the sector on how to reduce losses and waste. First developed and adopted by the UNECE Working Party on Agricultural Quality Standards in 2019, this second edition of the Code of Good Practice has been expanded with a chapter on transporters, and revised to better take into account challenges faced in developing and transition economies, such as lack of cooling facilities or sorting equipment.
Through its specific focus on fresh fruit and vegetable supply chains, the UNECE Code of Good Practice complements the Voluntary Code of Conduct for Food Loss and Waste Reduction developed by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).