Columbia International Affairs Online: Policy Briefs

CIAO DATE: 10/2012

Tackling urban and rural food wastage in Southeast Asia: Issues and interventions

Paul Teng, Sally Trethewie

October 2012

Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies


Food wastage is prevalent in Southeast Asia and has significant implications for the region's food, environmental and economic security. It is likely that the region wastes approximately 33 per cent of food, but accurate estimates are not available due to a dearth of quantitative information. Wastage occurs at all stages of food supply chains, from the point of production to post-harvest, retail and consumption. Effective interventions to prevent and minimise food wastage exist but are not widely implemented in Southeast Asia. In the context of these issues, the RSIS Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies hosted an Expert Working Group Meeting in August 2012 to discuss food wastage in Southeast Asia. This policy brief draws on the findings of the meeting and provides several policy recommendations for Southeast Asian governments to address urban and rural food wastage.