MOFCOM announced that it will formulate measures to stop food waste, as reported by the Paper on December 10, 2020. In a statement, MOFCOM encouraged the catering industry to focus on providing higher quality food options as opposed to large portions. In addition, for epidemic prevention and control, catering enterprises are encouraged to introduce new forms of consumption such as online ordering and contactless delivery. Earlier this August, Chinese president Xi Jinping initiated a campaign to also target food waste.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, China’s food production output last year reached a record 660 million metric tons, an increase of 20% from 2010. Meanwhile, the per capita amount of food waste in the Chinese industry was 93 grams per person per meal, and the waste rate was 11.7%, according to a 2018 China Urban Catering Food Waste Report, co-authored by the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the World Wide Fund for Nature. Recently, surging commercial hype around imported food and fine dining has also contributed to food waste. To reduce energy use and resource costs per unit of food in transportation, economist and former director of the China Academy of Social Sciences’ Rural Development Institute suggested that eating locally instead of eating globally could be another alternative solution.