Skip to main content

World Food Forum and UNIDO join forces to tackle food loss with global startup challenge

08 May 2024


Rome, 8 May 2024 – The World Food Forum (WFF) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Innovation Lab are joining forces to launch the Food Loss Award, a new category within the WFF Startup Innovation Awards (SIA). This exciting initiative aims to identify and empower promising startups developing innovative solutions to tackle food loss, a critical challenge within the global agrifood system.

Championing youth-led innovation for a sustainable future

Established in 2021, the WFF SIA is a global startup competition that recognizes young entrepreneurs harnessing the power of technology to address food security challenges and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The WFF SIA 2024 expands on this mission by introducing topical awards, including the Food Loss Award, co-hosted by UNIDO.

Food Loss Award: Targeting solutions for maximum impact

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), a staggering 14% of global food is lost after harvest, amounting to an annual loss of USD 400 billion. The Food Loss Award specifically targets this challenge, seeking innovative technological solutions to minimize food loss within the Global South, focusing on UNIDO's priority areas of hunger eradication, climate action and sustainable supply chains.

The Award seeks startups with solutions that address food loss across various stages of the agrifood supply chain, from post-harvest handling to pre-retail stages. Ten finalists will be selected to participate in a unique WFF-UNIDO Startup Accelerator Program. This program will provide targeted support to implement and scale their solutions on the ground, with pilot projects planned in select countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America & the Caribbean.

Showcasing innovation on a global stage

Two finalists will be offered the opportunity to showcase their companies during the WFF flagship event taking place from 14-18 October, at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Italy. This prestigious platform will provide them with exposure to a global audience of stakeholders invested in achieving food security and a sustainable future.

Call to action

The WFF SIA 2024, including the Food Loss Award, is now open for applications from passionate and innovative startups worldwide. Visit the WFF website for more information and to apply.

Together, the WFF and UNIDO are committed to empowering the next generation of changemakers to build a more resilient and food-secure future for all.


For more information contact:

Adnan Seric, Innovation Lab Manager