A common saying I heard while interning at World Resources Institute (WRI) was "what's measured gets managed." The idea behind this saying is simple. When people measure (like food loss and waste), people take actions to improve the data points coming out of the measurement. Without measurements - and protocols for making the measurements - we do not have reliable information about where and when something happens. As a result, we cannot optimize our interventions or prove that our interventions have a positive impact.
To illustrate, WRI developed the greenhouse gas emissions measurement protocol. This standard measurement methodology allows companies to understand where and when they produce carbon emissions. I think 90-95% of companies that report on greenhouse gas emissions use the WRI standard for measuring those emissions. They can then use the data to inform decisions about what actions, in what places, and at what times, will most reduce their emissions. They can also prove that they have reduced emissions, and use measurements to test, refine, and improve interventions for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
WRI is hoping to replicate the success of the greenhouse gas measurement protocol with their Food Loss & Waste measurement protocol. It's exciting stuff.
See the link for more information: http://www.wri.org/news/2016/06/release-first-ever-global-standard-measure-food-loss-and-waste-introduced-international
What are some challenges to the adoption of standard protocols? How can we mitigate them?
How can we empower farmers, consumers, and retailers to measure their Food Loss & Waste while thinking about how to reduce it?