Reasons for Food Surplus

Even food that is still safe and edible is often disposed of due to various reasons.
Here are some of those reasons:

  1. Packaging issues such as dented cans or damage to packaging and/or shipping cases.
  2. Mislabeling of expiration dates and/or mistakes in legally stipulated label information.
  3. Seasonal and limited edition products.
  4. Excess inventory after bargains, sales or campaigns.
  5. Expiration date: products with approaching dates can often not be sold in stores.
  6. Products for which distribution is discontinued.
  7. Excess inventory.
  8. Over production / excess defective products / unanticipated bumper crops.
  9. Emergency food supplies that have not expired.
  10. Samples from exhibitions and special events.
  11. Products that do not meet the 1/3 rule*.

Japan’s Annual Food Waste

Japan’s self-sufficiency rate is at 39%. At the same time,
17.8 million tons of food are destroyed every year.

Unmet Need

There are approximately 20 million living below the poverty line

These numbers are provided by the Japanese Government to the OECD and are publically available.
This is 1 in every 6 people.

Information about Poverty in Japan

Food loss in Japan is virtually equivalent to the total amount of food aid distributed world-wide.

Statistics published by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in 2012 puts Japan’s annual food loss at between 5 and 8 million tons. Japan’s annual rice production is 8.39 million tons, a very similar amount. Of that 5 to 8 million tons of food loss, 2 to 4 million tons come from individual households. Food loss during production and distribution is between 3 and 4 million tons.

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