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UNECE Code of Good Practice for Reducing Food Loss in Handling Fruit and Vegetables (ECE/TRADE/454)

Code of Good Practice - Reducing food loss in handling fruit and vegetables

A Code of Good Practice which helps maintain quality along the fresh fruit and vegetables supply chains, to prevent and reduce food loss and waste. It sets out measures to be taken at the various stages of the supply chain before the fruit and vegetables reach the consumer, i.e. from harvest to retail and supports continued improvement, step by step. Real improvement, however, can only be achieved if actors along the distribution chain cooperate to improve their logistics, handling and planning, both inside countries and across borders. Communication will be a key factor. Measuring waste, which is the last point in each section of the Code, will give companies feedback on how well their work progresses.
Fruit and vegetables are sold internationally, as well as locally, regionally and nationally. They are frequently traded over large distances and involve several actors. A continuous challenge is to reduce waste and losses, and this requires great care, attention and cooperation along all the entire value chain. The perishable nature of most fruits and vegetables means that loss and waste of products can be high. The problem of waste, in particular, has received much attention in recent years because of the impact on the environment. Much can be gained, including economically, from taking measures to reduce the losses and the waste. The Code of Good Practice supports the United Nations Sustainability Goal 12.3 on halving food loss and waste by 2030.