2.5 million tons

of food were wasted in 2019
NIS 20.3 billion – Economic Value of Food Waste in 2019

How Much Food is Wasted in Israel

Food waste estimates in Israel are based on a unique model of the value chain for domestic food production (4). Estimated at approximately 2.5 billion tons, food waste in Israel constitutes 35% of overall domestic food production. This year, the agricultural sector in Israel recorded a 1.5% decrease in production, continuing a trend that began the previous year, when there was a 2.4% decrease in production.
4.‏ The value chain model does not include beverages, energy boosters, sugar, honey and candy

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*

Source: BDO estimates
*The loss of NIS 670 per household per month reflects the loss throughout the value chain, which includes, among other things, the direct expenditure of households.

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.

5.‏ We are aware such estimates may include deviations or inaccuracies that are inevitable because there is no official data. Additionally, the volume of annual food waste also depends on random variables, such as extreme weather conditions, natural events and pests, deviations in demand, etc. The data presented here is based on an annual analysis and average weather conditions. This data is indicative and intended to serve as the basis for public debate, and for further research and study.
Source: BDO estimates
* Direct economic cost, not including emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants

Percentage of Food Waste at All Stages of the Value Chain

* Percentages are rounded to the nearest percentile to facilitate presentation
** The rate of the loss refers to the loss from the total production or consumption of the same food category at each stage in 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.

6.‏ Dr. Ron Porat, 2015, 2016
The data regarding food waste presented in this report is based on estimates, weighing a wide range of information sources and statistics available to the authors, as well as cooperation with the Central Bureau of Statistics, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environmental Protection, and Ministry of Social Affairs, conversations and interviews with experts working in the field, study findings and results from previous reviews, international comparative studies and more. There is great variance in the volume of food waste in the different categories of foods that were reviewed, as well as in each stage of the value chain in which the waste occurs. For each stage, we assess the waste as a percentage of the total production or consumption at that stage of the value chain. For example, 9% of the food produced by agriculture is wasted at this stage. Similarly, 16% of the food consumed during the consumption stage (institutional and household) is wasted. The large share of waste from fruit and vegetables in Israel stems both from their large share in domestic agricultural production, and from the high rate of waste (35%) during the value stages. The high rate of waste for fruit and vegetables is not exclusive to the Israeli economy. Compared to international data, Israel’s rate of waste in this category is similar to that in Europe. Compared to the US, the rate of loss is even lower, but is composed of a lower rate of loss during the agricultural production and consumption stages, and greater waste in the intermediary stages (7).
7.‏ “Global Food Losses and Food Waste,” FAO, 2011

Food Waste Estimate in Israel, by Weight (1,000 tons)

Source: BDO estimates
* The estimated food waste from industry does not include food that is recycled, primarily as animal feed.

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.

Estimated Percentage of Food Waste in Israel, by sector

Source: BDO estimates