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New 'Champions 12.3' Coalition Inspires Action to Halve Global Food Waste

Davos, 21 January 2016 - A coalition of 30 international leaders launched their Champions 12.3 initiative at the World Economic Forum in Davos today to inspire ambitious action on reducing global food loss and waste.

The group's name is a reference to Target 12.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which seeks to halve per capita food waste and reduce food losses by 2030. The coalition will be Co-chaired by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner and Tesco Group Chief Executive Dave Lewis.

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, "We waste about one-third of food produced every year. That's why I welcome this proactive, collaborative approach by the Champions of SDG 12.3 to halving food waste by 2030. UNEP's Think Eat Save initiative, in partnership with FAO, raises awareness and promotes practices and policies to reduce food loss and waste. But for this target to be met comprehensively, we require important baseline data on our production and consumption patterns today."

"I encourage all Champions to contribute to measuring food waste in their organizations and countries in order to help achieve an SDG target crucial to both food security and fighting hunger, as well as climate change," added Mr. Steiner

Dave Lewis, Group Chief Executive of Tesco said, "Reducing food loss and waste is a significant global challenge and it's very important that business plays its part. At Tesco, we're committed to tackling food waste not only in our own operations but also through strong and effective partnerships with our suppliers and by helping our customers reduce waste and save money. This is an opportunity for businesses to work together and make a real difference to Target 12.3."

Food loss and waste is a significant economic, social, and environmental challenge. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), it is responsible for nearly $940 billion annual global economic losses and 8 per cent of all anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. Globally, producing the food that is later lost or wasted requires about one quarter of all water used by agriculture, and a cropland area the size of China.

Reducing food loss and waste can be a triple win: It can save money for farmers, companies and households, alleviate hunger around the world and mitigate pressure on climate, water, and land resources.

The Champions 12.3 include CEOs of major companies, government ministers, and executives of research and intergovernmental institutions, foundations, farmer organizations, and civil society groups. These leaders will work to create political, business and social momentum to reduce food loss and waste around the world.

The Champions will inspire action by:

  • Leading by example on how to reduce food loss and waste;
  • Motivating others to meet SDG Target 12.3;
  • Communicating the importance of food loss and waste reduction;
  • Showcasing successful food loss and waste reduction strategies; and
  • Advocating for more innovation, greater investment, better information, and increased capacity to reduce food loss and waste.


Today's announcement took place at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, alongside the launch of The Rockefeller Foundation's new YieldWise initiative, a seven-year, $130 million commitment to halving food loss and waste globally. The Foundation's President, Dr. Judith Rodin, is also among Champions 12.3.

Champions 12.3 will complement and build upon ongoing successful UN programmes to reduce food loss and waste, including SAVE FOOD and Think.Eat.Save, efforts such as EU FUSIONS and the global Food Loss & Waste Protocol, private sector action like the Consumer Goods Forum's Food Waste Resolution, and other initiatives.

The Champions effort supports the UN Sustainable Development Goals adopted in September 2015 by all 193 UN Member States. SDG 12 seeks to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns. Target 12.3 specifically aims to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer level, and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses, by 2030.

Inspired by the "No More Food to Waste" conference in The Hague, in June 2015, the Government of the Kingdom of the Netherlands formally called for the coalition's formation in September 2015, and is providing secretariat support for Champions 12.3, along with the World Resources Institute.


See the full list of champions and get more information at:

Additional Quotes from Champions:

"Worldwide, food loss and waste impedes food security and fuels climate change. For advancing the agreed 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development this issue must be tackled today," said Dr. Hans Hoogeveen, Vice-Minister for Agriculture, the Netherlands. "Food that is ultimately lost or wasted consumes about a quarter of all water used by agriculture, requires cropland area the size of China, and is responsible for an estimated 8 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Through their leadership the Champions 12.3 will be able to connect these challenges, by forming smart alliances, bringing together leaders from private sector, local communities, famers, science and government."

"Cutting food loss and waste is a no-brainer. Food loss and waste hurts people, costs money and harms the planet. If food loss and waste were a country, it would be the third largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world," said Dr. Andrew Steer, President and CEO, World Resources Institute. "Thankfully, we are embarking on a journey where business, government and other leaders can use their voices to make a tangible difference to reach Target 12.3. These Champions have the power to convert momentum into a global movement."

"Food loss and waste happens all along the global pathway to the plate-from how smallholder farmers harvest and get crops to market, to corporate losses across supply chains, all the way to consumer waste. To succeed in cutting food waste in half, we must take a systemic approach," said Dr. Judith Rodin, President, The Rockefeller Foundation. "Through YieldWise, our seven-year, $130 million initiative, we will build a more resilient food system by demonstrating how the entire supply chain can collaborate to achieve the goals set by Champions 12.3. Together, we will ensure that humanity has enough food to thrive, all while respecting the limits of our planet's ability to provide."

Quotes from all Champions announced today are available online at and by request.

Champions 12.3 currently includes:

  • Dave Lewis (Group Chief Executive, Tesco - Chair)
  • Achim Steiner (Executive Director, United Nations Environment Programme - Co-Chair)
  • Vytenis Andriukaitis (European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety)
  • Peter Bakker (President, World Business Council for Sustainable Development)
  • Paul Bulcke (Chief Executive Officer, Nestlé)
  • Wiebe Draijer (Chairman of the Executive Board, Rabobank)
  • Shenggen Fan (Director General, International Food Policy Research Institute)
  • Louise Fresco (President of the Executive Board, Wageningen University)
  • Liz Goodwin (Chief Executive Officer, Waste and Resources Action Programme)
  • Eva Kjer Hansen (Minister of Environment and Food, Denmark)
  • Hans Hoogeveen (Vice Minister for Agriculture, The Netherlands)
  • Yolanda Kakabadse (President, WWF International)
  • Sam Kass (Senior Food Analyst at NBC News and former U.S. White House Chef)
  • Gina McCarthy (Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
  • Evelyn Nguleka (President, World Farmers' Organisation)
  • Kanayo Nwanze (President, International Fund for Agricultural Development)
  • Raymond Offenheiser (President, Oxfam America)
  • Cao Duc Phat (Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam)
  • Paul Polman (Chief Executive Officer, Unilever)
  • Juan Lucas Restrepo Ibiza (Chairman, Global Forum on Agricultural Research)
  • Judith Rodin (President, The Rockefeller Foundation)
  • Oyun Sanjaasuren (President of United Nations Environment Assembly and Member of Parliament of Mongolia)
  • Feike Sijbesma (Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Managing Board, Royal DSM)
  • Andrew Steer (President and Chief Executive Officer, World Resources Institute)
  • Tristram Stuart (Founder, Feedback)
  • Rhea Suh (President, Natural Resources Defense Council)
  • Rhoda Peace Tumusiime (Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, The African Union)
  • Sunny Verghese (Co-Founder, Group Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Olam International)
  • Tom Vilsack (Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture)
  • Senzeni Zokwana (Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Republic of South Africa)


About World Resources Institute

WRI is a global research organization that spans more than 50 countries, with offices in the United States, China, India, Brazil, and more. Our more than 450 experts and staff work closely with leaders to turn big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and and human well-being (


About No More Food to Waste


The Netherlands teamed up with key partners Viet Nam, UNEP, FAO and African Union Commission to organize a global multi-stakeholder conference last June in The Hague. The Conference NO MORE FOOD TO WASTE laid bare the link between food loss and waste, food security, climate change, and sustainable development. To help convert Sustainable Development Goal target 12.3 into reality, the No More Food to Waste Conference proposed the formation of "Champions 12.3.

For more information please contact:

Lauren Zelin, World Resources Institute, +1 (202) 729-7736,

Kim van Seeters, Ministry of Economic Affairs, Directorate General Agriculture and Nature, The Netherlands,

Michal Szymanski, UNEP News & Media,