Today, one of the main global challenges is how to ensure food security for a world growing population whilst ensuring long-term sustainable development.
According to the FAO, food production will need to grow by 70% to feed world population which will reach 9 billion by 2050. Further trends like increasing urban population, shift of lifestyle and diet patterns of the rising middle class in emerging economies along with climate change put considerable pressure strain on the planet’s resources: declining freshwater resources and biodiversity, loss of fertile land, etc.
Consequently, there is a need for an integrated and innovative approach to the global effort of ensuring sustainable food production and consumption (Nellemann et al., 2009; World Economic Forum 2009; FAO/OECD, 2011; Foresight, 2011; EU ERA-NET SUSFOOD 2012-2014).
Farmers and food sellers have been concerned about losses since agriculture began. Yet the problem of how much food is lost after harvest to processing, spoilage, insects and rodents, or to other factors takes on greater importance as world food demand grows. Cutting postharvest losses could, presumably, add a sizable quantity to the global food supply, thus reducing the need to intensify production in the future.