2.5 million tons
How Much Food is Wasted in Israel
Findings of the 2018 National Food Waste and Rescue Report reveal an increase in food waste, compared to the findings in the previous report. This was the combined result of an increase in imports, partially offset by the decrease in Israeli agricultural production, and updated data concerning food waste in the household consumption sector, which underwent evaluation for the first time this year.
Food Waste in Israel, Monthly Value (₪) per Household*
Findings of the 2019 National Food Waste and Rescue Report reveal food waste at a level similar to the findings in the previous report (2018 Food Waste and Rescue Report) – approximately 2.5 million tons of food waste. This was the combined result of an increase in household consumption, partially offset by the decrease in Israeli agricultural production.
The total amount of food waste, at all stages in the value chain, is equivalent to the loss of approximately NIS 670 per household in Israel, every month.
In monetary terms, about 18% of the value of food waste, equivalent to approximately NIS 3.7 billion, occurs during various stages of production. This loss of NIS 3.7 billion in value represents approximately 13% of the total value of agricultural production in Israel. Nearly 82% of the waste’s value, equivalent to approximately NIS 16.6 billion, occurs during the retail stages of distribution and consumption.
The value of agricultural commodities per ton increases as it progresses along the value chain of production, and as additional inputs are invested – including those required by sorting, processing, transport, distribution and retailing. Assessment of the value of waste in the early stages of production (growing, packaging and manufacturing) is based on the wholesale prices paid to farmers. Waste during the later stages in the value chain is estimated based on retail food prices.
A comprehensive value chain model for various food production and consumption stages was designed to assess food waste and the potential for food rescue in Israel. This model is based on a bottom-up approach, and includes analysis of data relevant to agricultural production, storage, import, export, industry, distribution, and a sample of consumption patterns of 50 types of food (5). Processed produce included in the data is translated into terms of fresh produce.
Percentage of Food Waste at All Stages of the Value Chain
For each type of food, the volume of input and output was measured in terms of gross agricultural product and loss rate for every stage of the value chain in the food production, distribution and consumption processes in Israel. The loss assessment is based, in part, on agricultural waste surveys which were conducted and updated by the Volcani Center (6). The estimated total loss of food for the economy as a whole, and for each type of food, is based on the total loss for each product and stage.
Food Waste Estimate in Israel, by Weight (1,000 tons)
The economic value of food waste in Israel is estimated at approximately NIS 20.3 billion, constituting 1.5% of domestic production. Approximately 7% of this value originates in unnecessary waste of natural resources (land and water). This is in addition to the unnecessary cost of GHG emissions and air pollutants at all stages of the value chain, as the result of cultivating and processing food that is not consumed, equivalent in value to NIS 1 billion, as well as a cost of approximately NIS 800 million for processing the food and packaging that is discarded. Thus, the total estimated cost of food waste, including the costs of wasted natural resources, GHG emissions, air pollution, and handling of waste is approximately NIS 22 billion.
Quantitatively speaking, approximately 55% of this waste is incurred during production, manufacturing and distribution, before the food reaches household or institutional consumers. In monetary terms, roughly 60% is wasted during household or institutional consumption.