Photo: Israel Collection
Leket Israel and the Ministry of Environmental Protection publish a document stating that the cost of food loss in Israel reached NIS 3.2 billion in 2019.
Based on the analysis, written by the accounting firm BDO, the significant loss stems from the fact that every year NIS 800 million is found for the removal of 1.9 million tons of municipal waste, which constitutes about 35% of the volume of waste in Israel.
The document shows that Israel is losing an additional NIS 1.4 billion, as a result of unnecessary loss of land and water resources. NIS 1.0 billion comes from greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants and NIS 0.8 billion is calculated as the direct cost of waste treatment.
About half of the loss is salvable – in the amount of 1.2 million tons and worth about 7 billion shekels.
The report’s findings show that the average family in Israel throws in a food bin worth NIS 3,300 a year, which is equivalent to a month and a half of food consumption. Food loss at the home consumption stage constitutes about 55% of the total environmental costs of food loss.
It was further determined that the effects of the loss at all stages of the value chain increase food prices by about 11%. In addition, Food loss impairs productivity in the economy due to production and labor inputs that go down the drain.
To close the island gap–Food security in Israel is required to save 20% of the lost food, worth NIS 3.2 billion. Saving food makes it possible to do so at a cost of only NIS 880 million. At the same time, this will save about 80 million cubic meters of water, 250 million kWh of electricity produced, thousands of tons of fuel, about NIS 220 million as a result of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants and about NIS 160 million as a result of reducing waste treatment costs.
According to my estimates BDO The corona crisis will lead to an increase of 145,000 people who will enter a state of food insecurity that they did not have before, in addition the crisis will exacerbate and deepen food insecurity among about 1,870,000 people who lived in food insecurity in the pre-Corona crisis. These effects increase the importance of saving food which can help minimize the economic damage due to the crisis for needy families who have been economically harmed and minimize the environmental costs imposed on the Israeli economy as a result of food production not consumed at this time.
In 2019, Leket Israel saved about 2.2 million cooked meals from IDF bases, hotels, catering companies, restaurants and more, and about 15.7 thousand tons of agricultural produce with a total value of about NIS 209 million. These surpluses are transferred every week to over 175,000 needy through about 200 non-profit organizations throughout Israel.
The Minister of Environmental Protection, Gila Gamliel, said that “the food loss and rescue report shows that the effects of food loss on the environment and the economy are significant – but this is not a fate.”
“The report shows that about 35% of the volume of local food production is lost and becomes waste or surplus, the treatment of which requires the investment of additional resources. At the same time, all the resources required for growing and producing this food go down the drain: land, water, energy, pollutant emissions and more. In this time of global economic and health crisis, we must make the best use of production and environmental resources while also helping vulnerable populations. We are currently formulating a waste strategy in the office, which is also expected to deal with a reduction in the source of waste, including food waste. We will continue to promote policy tools that will encourage the reduction of food loss and its effects on the environment, “Gamliel added.
Gidi Karuch, CEO of Leket Israel, said that “from the report on food loss and rescue for 2019 and in the face of the intensifying corona crisis, the importance of adopting food rescue as a government policy tool affecting welfare, the environment, health and the economy is emerging. This report proves that food rescue It also contributes to efficient utilization and significant savings in the scarce environmental resources. ”
“Saving food contributes to reducing the food insecurity of the underprivileged by a third of the cost, increasing product and productivity in the economy, reducing gaps in society and reducing the cost of living. I welcome the fact that this year the report was written jointly with the Ministry of As a significant tool by the government, “my words involve.
Chen Herzog, Chief Economist of BDO, concluded and said“The loss to the national economy from food loss amounted to NIS 20.3 billion this year, in addition to an environmental cost of NIS 3.2 billion. This loss could be financed one-fifth of the state’s corona aid budget. Food loss is economic, social and environmental nonsense. Food loss costs along the entire chain “The value and environmental costs of food waste end up in the pockets of consumers and taxpayers in Israel, and therefore also affect the cost of living. Especially this year in light of the corona crisis, it is of paramount importance to formulate a national food rescue plan.”
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