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101 Best Restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2017


This time of year, many of us are making last-minute trip arrangements for spring vacations, or looking further ahead to summer travel plans. For those seeking warm-weather destinations in the Caribbean, or planning a trip to Mexico before they have to scale a wall, or even considering a cooler-weather jaunt to South America (remember that the Southern Hemisphere’s winter runs from June to August), we’ve put together a list of the 101 best restaurants in the region, for the fourth year in a row.

You’ll find good places to eat in 30 countries and island outposts, from Mexico and the Bahamas down through Chile and Argentina. We cover everything from elegant restaurants serving haute cuisine to casual beachside joints serving not much more than the freshest seafood.

Slideshow: 101 Best Restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean of 2017

Drawing on our previous years’ rankings, on published reviews and other lists, and on nominations from contributors to The Daily Meal and our own well-traveled staff, we came up with a short list of about 200 restaurants. From this list, we created a survey broken down by country and category and sent out to a panel of judges — food and restaurant critics, chefs (without interests in the region), and an array of bloggers — from around the world.

When the results were computed, we discovered that about half of the establishments that made the list were either completely new or had appeared on previous lists but not on our roster of the 101 Best for 2016. Of course, that meant that we had to bump a lot of last year’s winners were bumped off the list. A fefw had closed, but others simply got fewer votes this year than some other places. This shouldn’t be interpreted as a knock on those establishments; there are a lot of high-quality, delicious, and enjoyable eateries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and we had only so many spots to award.

Our most highly ranked newcomer is the astonishing Mishiguene in Buenos Aires (no. 7). Other newcomers include Finca Altozano in Mexico’s Valle de Guadalupe wine country (no. 26) and the pan-Asian Galangal on St. Croix (no. 44). Chefs based in the U.S. who have Caribbean enterprises found places on the list (José Andrés Mi Casa in San Juan, no. 10, for instance, along with two entries overseen by Jean-Georges Vongerichten). Old favorites like Gastón Acurio’s La Mar in Lima (no. 20), Casa Oaxaca in the Mexican city of the same name (no. 57), and the jerk specialist Scotchies in Montego Bay (no. 92) are present and accounted for, as are numerous hitherto obscure establishments that we’re betting will become favorites.

Click here for the complete list of the 101 Best Restaurants in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2017.

Additonal reporting by Colman Andrews.


Latin America And The Caribbean Has The Highest Food Waste Carbon Footprint In The Developing World

In the Caribbean, supply chain issues impact the food wastage carbon footprint via the production of greenhouse gases in the production, processing, transport, storage and disposal of all non-consumed food. The disposal stage of the food value chain produces significant emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide and methane and ultimately leads to a food production increases that impact land/ water use and quality, and loss of biodiversity.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), these cumulative environmental impacts produce a food wastage carbon footprint of 540kg of CO2 per capita in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region— the fourth highest Carbon footprint associated with food wastage in the world, and the highest in the developing world.

The region’s annual loss in food supplies represents 6% of global food losses or 2% of all food produced globally. The carbon footprint associated with global food loss (1/3 of all food produced globally) is about 3.3 billion tons of C02— 8% of global emissions per year.

In the LAC region, food losses are mainly due to poor infrastructure and poorly organized value chains and occur at varying amounts in production, handling and storage, processing, distribution and at the consumer level, translating to approximately 223 kg of food wasted per person per year (FAO).

Some commodities are more vulnerable than others. Fruits and Vegetables constitute more than 40% of the food waste in the region and according to a 2015 FAO report, the volume of fruit wasted in Latin America and the Caribbean is the 4 th highest of all commodities wasted globally. Physical damage, deterioration, high temperatures and drying have been identified as major problems in the fruit and vegetable value chain (University of the West Indies, FAO) resulting in more than 55% of all fruits and vegetables going to waste (FAO).

Fruits and Vegetables constitute more than 40% of food waste in the LAC region

The impact of vegetable waste is particularly notable, as 21% of the global carbon footprint of food waste comes from this commodity, equivalent to that of meat and second only to cereals.

According to the FAO, cassava, which is a staple for food security in the Caribbean, experiences losses of up to 23% in Guyana (worth $839,619) and 20% in Trinidad and Tobago (worth $500,000). Tomatoes are also highly vulnerable, with losses of 20% in Saint Lucia, 27% in Trinidad and Tobago and 34% in Guyana.

Mangos also suffer from a high degree of waste with critical loss points occurring during harvesting, packaging and retailing. Most of Guyana’s 32% loss and Trinidad’s 17% loss in this commodity occur during packaging.

According to Barbados-based Industrial Designer, Mark Hill, “30% of the solid waste that ends up in Barbados’ landfills comes from food. In a rudimentary survey of families in Barbados, we have found that local households are producing about two kilos of food waste per day, with families that have a more vegetable-intensive diet producing the majority of the waste.”

A similar trend can be found for the rest of the region. 20 to 30% of food produced in Jamaica is lost annually— equivalent to $7 billion (FAO, 2017). Guyana's National Institute for Agricultural Research and Extension estimates that about 30% of all fruits and vegetables produced in the country are wasted. The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) reports a 35% loss for vegetables in Haiti.

Proactive initiatives across the supply chain can help to make a significant difference. The main political forum of the region, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), has included Food Loss and Waste Reduction as a major component of its Action Plan for Food and Nutrition Security and the Eradication of Hunger 2025. With this objective, the Inter American Development Bank has launched the #SinDesperdicio platform to leverage the efforts of the private and public sectors and civil society to help reduce food waste.

Many regional initiatives have involved investment in equipment and technology, particularly in storage and packaging, and training and development in post-harvest practices. With respect to production and harvest, Grenada has put forward a system of crop forecasting and planning. To avoid post-harvest losses, Guyana has improved equipment for the processing and storage of fruits and vegetables.

Chefs and restaurants have also become agents of change. Vegan Chef, Taymer Mason, who is based in Barbados, relishes in making tasty dishes out of foods that are typically thrown away— overripe breadfruit and molasses are valued ingredients in her new line of skin care products and award-winning recipes. “Molasses can be used as a butter substitute or in a vinaigrette. It can be used cosmetically to prevent greying and even as a facemask,” Mason declares of the typically wasted commodity. “It is a sin to waste!”

Design Council SIDS, a Barbados Not-for-Profit under the leadership of Mark Hill, has partnered with a Swedish biogas plant to convert food waste into biofuel. “We will use food waste that Barbadians will be increasingly forced to separate once the country’s upcoming single use plastics ban goes into effect, and tie it back to the 100% renewable energy target that we have as a country,” explains St. Hill.

Jamaican Food Production Company, Canco Limited’s environmental division, Ecowells, collects, processes and manages the company's organic waste, which includes ackee pods and seeds and fruit and vegetable peelings from its food-processing plant. Composting biodegradable waste results in the production of value-added products for the agriculture industry.

Jamaicans have a saying, “before good food waste, mek belly bus” loosely translated to mean, by all means do not waste food! Globally, food waste is a major problem economically, socially, ethically and environmentally and with a carbon foot print impact in Latin America and the Caribbean that is the highest in the developing world and with an additional 7 to 10 calories of production inputs that are lost with each documented calorie of waste, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 to halve all food waste by 2030 is a critical priority for the region.


Latin America And The Caribbean Has The Highest Food Waste Carbon Footprint In The Developing World

In the Caribbean, supply chain issues impact the food wastage carbon footprint via the production of greenhouse gases in the production, processing, transport, storage and disposal of all non-consumed food. The disposal stage of the food value chain produces significant emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide and methane and ultimately leads to a food production increases that impact land/ water use and quality, and loss of biodiversity.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), these cumulative environmental impacts produce a food wastage carbon footprint of 540kg of CO2 per capita in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region— the fourth highest Carbon footprint associated with food wastage in the world, and the highest in the developing world.

The region’s annual loss in food supplies represents 6% of global food losses or 2% of all food produced globally. The carbon footprint associated with global food loss (1/3 of all food produced globally) is about 3.3 billion tons of C02— 8% of global emissions per year.

In the LAC region, food losses are mainly due to poor infrastructure and poorly organized value chains and occur at varying amounts in production, handling and storage, processing, distribution and at the consumer level, translating to approximately 223 kg of food wasted per person per year (FAO).

Some commodities are more vulnerable than others. Fruits and Vegetables constitute more than 40% of the food waste in the region and according to a 2015 FAO report, the volume of fruit wasted in Latin America and the Caribbean is the 4 th highest of all commodities wasted globally. Physical damage, deterioration, high temperatures and drying have been identified as major problems in the fruit and vegetable value chain (University of the West Indies, FAO) resulting in more than 55% of all fruits and vegetables going to waste (FAO).

Fruits and Vegetables constitute more than 40% of food waste in the LAC region

The impact of vegetable waste is particularly notable, as 21% of the global carbon footprint of food waste comes from this commodity, equivalent to that of meat and second only to cereals.

According to the FAO, cassava, which is a staple for food security in the Caribbean, experiences losses of up to 23% in Guyana (worth $839,619) and 20% in Trinidad and Tobago (worth $500,000). Tomatoes are also highly vulnerable, with losses of 20% in Saint Lucia, 27% in Trinidad and Tobago and 34% in Guyana.

Mangos also suffer from a high degree of waste with critical loss points occurring during harvesting, packaging and retailing. Most of Guyana’s 32% loss and Trinidad’s 17% loss in this commodity occur during packaging.

According to Barbados-based Industrial Designer, Mark Hill, “30% of the solid waste that ends up in Barbados’ landfills comes from food. In a rudimentary survey of families in Barbados, we have found that local households are producing about two kilos of food waste per day, with families that have a more vegetable-intensive diet producing the majority of the waste.”

A similar trend can be found for the rest of the region. 20 to 30% of food produced in Jamaica is lost annually— equivalent to $7 billion (FAO, 2017). Guyana's National Institute for Agricultural Research and Extension estimates that about 30% of all fruits and vegetables produced in the country are wasted. The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) reports a 35% loss for vegetables in Haiti.

Proactive initiatives across the supply chain can help to make a significant difference. The main political forum of the region, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), has included Food Loss and Waste Reduction as a major component of its Action Plan for Food and Nutrition Security and the Eradication of Hunger 2025. With this objective, the Inter American Development Bank has launched the #SinDesperdicio platform to leverage the efforts of the private and public sectors and civil society to help reduce food waste.

Many regional initiatives have involved investment in equipment and technology, particularly in storage and packaging, and training and development in post-harvest practices. With respect to production and harvest, Grenada has put forward a system of crop forecasting and planning. To avoid post-harvest losses, Guyana has improved equipment for the processing and storage of fruits and vegetables.

Chefs and restaurants have also become agents of change. Vegan Chef, Taymer Mason, who is based in Barbados, relishes in making tasty dishes out of foods that are typically thrown away— overripe breadfruit and molasses are valued ingredients in her new line of skin care products and award-winning recipes. “Molasses can be used as a butter substitute or in a vinaigrette. It can be used cosmetically to prevent greying and even as a facemask,” Mason declares of the typically wasted commodity. “It is a sin to waste!”

Design Council SIDS, a Barbados Not-for-Profit under the leadership of Mark Hill, has partnered with a Swedish biogas plant to convert food waste into biofuel. “We will use food waste that Barbadians will be increasingly forced to separate once the country’s upcoming single use plastics ban goes into effect, and tie it back to the 100% renewable energy target that we have as a country,” explains St. Hill.

Jamaican Food Production Company, Canco Limited’s environmental division, Ecowells, collects, processes and manages the company's organic waste, which includes ackee pods and seeds and fruit and vegetable peelings from its food-processing plant. Composting biodegradable waste results in the production of value-added products for the agriculture industry.

Jamaicans have a saying, “before good food waste, mek belly bus” loosely translated to mean, by all means do not waste food! Globally, food waste is a major problem economically, socially, ethically and environmentally and with a carbon foot print impact in Latin America and the Caribbean that is the highest in the developing world and with an additional 7 to 10 calories of production inputs that are lost with each documented calorie of waste, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 to halve all food waste by 2030 is a critical priority for the region.


Latin America And The Caribbean Has The Highest Food Waste Carbon Footprint In The Developing World

In the Caribbean, supply chain issues impact the food wastage carbon footprint via the production of greenhouse gases in the production, processing, transport, storage and disposal of all non-consumed food. The disposal stage of the food value chain produces significant emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide and methane and ultimately leads to a food production increases that impact land/ water use and quality, and loss of biodiversity.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), these cumulative environmental impacts produce a food wastage carbon footprint of 540kg of CO2 per capita in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region— the fourth highest Carbon footprint associated with food wastage in the world, and the highest in the developing world.

The region’s annual loss in food supplies represents 6% of global food losses or 2% of all food produced globally. The carbon footprint associated with global food loss (1/3 of all food produced globally) is about 3.3 billion tons of C02— 8% of global emissions per year.

In the LAC region, food losses are mainly due to poor infrastructure and poorly organized value chains and occur at varying amounts in production, handling and storage, processing, distribution and at the consumer level, translating to approximately 223 kg of food wasted per person per year (FAO).

Some commodities are more vulnerable than others. Fruits and Vegetables constitute more than 40% of the food waste in the region and according to a 2015 FAO report, the volume of fruit wasted in Latin America and the Caribbean is the 4 th highest of all commodities wasted globally. Physical damage, deterioration, high temperatures and drying have been identified as major problems in the fruit and vegetable value chain (University of the West Indies, FAO) resulting in more than 55% of all fruits and vegetables going to waste (FAO).

Fruits and Vegetables constitute more than 40% of food waste in the LAC region

The impact of vegetable waste is particularly notable, as 21% of the global carbon footprint of food waste comes from this commodity, equivalent to that of meat and second only to cereals.

According to the FAO, cassava, which is a staple for food security in the Caribbean, experiences losses of up to 23% in Guyana (worth $839,619) and 20% in Trinidad and Tobago (worth $500,000). Tomatoes are also highly vulnerable, with losses of 20% in Saint Lucia, 27% in Trinidad and Tobago and 34% in Guyana.

Mangos also suffer from a high degree of waste with critical loss points occurring during harvesting, packaging and retailing. Most of Guyana’s 32% loss and Trinidad’s 17% loss in this commodity occur during packaging.

According to Barbados-based Industrial Designer, Mark Hill, “30% of the solid waste that ends up in Barbados’ landfills comes from food. In a rudimentary survey of families in Barbados, we have found that local households are producing about two kilos of food waste per day, with families that have a more vegetable-intensive diet producing the majority of the waste.”

A similar trend can be found for the rest of the region. 20 to 30% of food produced in Jamaica is lost annually— equivalent to $7 billion (FAO, 2017). Guyana's National Institute for Agricultural Research and Extension estimates that about 30% of all fruits and vegetables produced in the country are wasted. The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) reports a 35% loss for vegetables in Haiti.

Proactive initiatives across the supply chain can help to make a significant difference. The main political forum of the region, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), has included Food Loss and Waste Reduction as a major component of its Action Plan for Food and Nutrition Security and the Eradication of Hunger 2025. With this objective, the Inter American Development Bank has launched the #SinDesperdicio platform to leverage the efforts of the private and public sectors and civil society to help reduce food waste.

Many regional initiatives have involved investment in equipment and technology, particularly in storage and packaging, and training and development in post-harvest practices. With respect to production and harvest, Grenada has put forward a system of crop forecasting and planning. To avoid post-harvest losses, Guyana has improved equipment for the processing and storage of fruits and vegetables.

Chefs and restaurants have also become agents of change. Vegan Chef, Taymer Mason, who is based in Barbados, relishes in making tasty dishes out of foods that are typically thrown away— overripe breadfruit and molasses are valued ingredients in her new line of skin care products and award-winning recipes. “Molasses can be used as a butter substitute or in a vinaigrette. It can be used cosmetically to prevent greying and even as a facemask,” Mason declares of the typically wasted commodity. “It is a sin to waste!”

Design Council SIDS, a Barbados Not-for-Profit under the leadership of Mark Hill, has partnered with a Swedish biogas plant to convert food waste into biofuel. “We will use food waste that Barbadians will be increasingly forced to separate once the country’s upcoming single use plastics ban goes into effect, and tie it back to the 100% renewable energy target that we have as a country,” explains St. Hill.

Jamaican Food Production Company, Canco Limited’s environmental division, Ecowells, collects, processes and manages the company's organic waste, which includes ackee pods and seeds and fruit and vegetable peelings from its food-processing plant. Composting biodegradable waste results in the production of value-added products for the agriculture industry.

Jamaicans have a saying, “before good food waste, mek belly bus” loosely translated to mean, by all means do not waste food! Globally, food waste is a major problem economically, socially, ethically and environmentally and with a carbon foot print impact in Latin America and the Caribbean that is the highest in the developing world and with an additional 7 to 10 calories of production inputs that are lost with each documented calorie of waste, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 to halve all food waste by 2030 is a critical priority for the region.


Latin America And The Caribbean Has The Highest Food Waste Carbon Footprint In The Developing World

In the Caribbean, supply chain issues impact the food wastage carbon footprint via the production of greenhouse gases in the production, processing, transport, storage and disposal of all non-consumed food. The disposal stage of the food value chain produces significant emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide and methane and ultimately leads to a food production increases that impact land/ water use and quality, and loss of biodiversity.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), these cumulative environmental impacts produce a food wastage carbon footprint of 540kg of CO2 per capita in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region— the fourth highest Carbon footprint associated with food wastage in the world, and the highest in the developing world.

The region’s annual loss in food supplies represents 6% of global food losses or 2% of all food produced globally. The carbon footprint associated with global food loss (1/3 of all food produced globally) is about 3.3 billion tons of C02— 8% of global emissions per year.

In the LAC region, food losses are mainly due to poor infrastructure and poorly organized value chains and occur at varying amounts in production, handling and storage, processing, distribution and at the consumer level, translating to approximately 223 kg of food wasted per person per year (FAO).

Some commodities are more vulnerable than others. Fruits and Vegetables constitute more than 40% of the food waste in the region and according to a 2015 FAO report, the volume of fruit wasted in Latin America and the Caribbean is the 4 th highest of all commodities wasted globally. Physical damage, deterioration, high temperatures and drying have been identified as major problems in the fruit and vegetable value chain (University of the West Indies, FAO) resulting in more than 55% of all fruits and vegetables going to waste (FAO).

Fruits and Vegetables constitute more than 40% of food waste in the LAC region

The impact of vegetable waste is particularly notable, as 21% of the global carbon footprint of food waste comes from this commodity, equivalent to that of meat and second only to cereals.

According to the FAO, cassava, which is a staple for food security in the Caribbean, experiences losses of up to 23% in Guyana (worth $839,619) and 20% in Trinidad and Tobago (worth $500,000). Tomatoes are also highly vulnerable, with losses of 20% in Saint Lucia, 27% in Trinidad and Tobago and 34% in Guyana.

Mangos also suffer from a high degree of waste with critical loss points occurring during harvesting, packaging and retailing. Most of Guyana’s 32% loss and Trinidad’s 17% loss in this commodity occur during packaging.

According to Barbados-based Industrial Designer, Mark Hill, “30% of the solid waste that ends up in Barbados’ landfills comes from food. In a rudimentary survey of families in Barbados, we have found that local households are producing about two kilos of food waste per day, with families that have a more vegetable-intensive diet producing the majority of the waste.”

A similar trend can be found for the rest of the region. 20 to 30% of food produced in Jamaica is lost annually— equivalent to $7 billion (FAO, 2017). Guyana's National Institute for Agricultural Research and Extension estimates that about 30% of all fruits and vegetables produced in the country are wasted. The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) reports a 35% loss for vegetables in Haiti.

Proactive initiatives across the supply chain can help to make a significant difference. The main political forum of the region, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), has included Food Loss and Waste Reduction as a major component of its Action Plan for Food and Nutrition Security and the Eradication of Hunger 2025. With this objective, the Inter American Development Bank has launched the #SinDesperdicio platform to leverage the efforts of the private and public sectors and civil society to help reduce food waste.

Many regional initiatives have involved investment in equipment and technology, particularly in storage and packaging, and training and development in post-harvest practices. With respect to production and harvest, Grenada has put forward a system of crop forecasting and planning. To avoid post-harvest losses, Guyana has improved equipment for the processing and storage of fruits and vegetables.

Chefs and restaurants have also become agents of change. Vegan Chef, Taymer Mason, who is based in Barbados, relishes in making tasty dishes out of foods that are typically thrown away— overripe breadfruit and molasses are valued ingredients in her new line of skin care products and award-winning recipes. “Molasses can be used as a butter substitute or in a vinaigrette. It can be used cosmetically to prevent greying and even as a facemask,” Mason declares of the typically wasted commodity. “It is a sin to waste!”

Design Council SIDS, a Barbados Not-for-Profit under the leadership of Mark Hill, has partnered with a Swedish biogas plant to convert food waste into biofuel. “We will use food waste that Barbadians will be increasingly forced to separate once the country’s upcoming single use plastics ban goes into effect, and tie it back to the 100% renewable energy target that we have as a country,” explains St. Hill.

Jamaican Food Production Company, Canco Limited’s environmental division, Ecowells, collects, processes and manages the company's organic waste, which includes ackee pods and seeds and fruit and vegetable peelings from its food-processing plant. Composting biodegradable waste results in the production of value-added products for the agriculture industry.

Jamaicans have a saying, “before good food waste, mek belly bus” loosely translated to mean, by all means do not waste food! Globally, food waste is a major problem economically, socially, ethically and environmentally and with a carbon foot print impact in Latin America and the Caribbean that is the highest in the developing world and with an additional 7 to 10 calories of production inputs that are lost with each documented calorie of waste, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 to halve all food waste by 2030 is a critical priority for the region.


Latin America And The Caribbean Has The Highest Food Waste Carbon Footprint In The Developing World

In the Caribbean, supply chain issues impact the food wastage carbon footprint via the production of greenhouse gases in the production, processing, transport, storage and disposal of all non-consumed food. The disposal stage of the food value chain produces significant emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide and methane and ultimately leads to a food production increases that impact land/ water use and quality, and loss of biodiversity.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), these cumulative environmental impacts produce a food wastage carbon footprint of 540kg of CO2 per capita in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region— the fourth highest Carbon footprint associated with food wastage in the world, and the highest in the developing world.

The region’s annual loss in food supplies represents 6% of global food losses or 2% of all food produced globally. The carbon footprint associated with global food loss (1/3 of all food produced globally) is about 3.3 billion tons of C02— 8% of global emissions per year.

In the LAC region, food losses are mainly due to poor infrastructure and poorly organized value chains and occur at varying amounts in production, handling and storage, processing, distribution and at the consumer level, translating to approximately 223 kg of food wasted per person per year (FAO).

Some commodities are more vulnerable than others. Fruits and Vegetables constitute more than 40% of the food waste in the region and according to a 2015 FAO report, the volume of fruit wasted in Latin America and the Caribbean is the 4 th highest of all commodities wasted globally. Physical damage, deterioration, high temperatures and drying have been identified as major problems in the fruit and vegetable value chain (University of the West Indies, FAO) resulting in more than 55% of all fruits and vegetables going to waste (FAO).

Fruits and Vegetables constitute more than 40% of food waste in the LAC region

The impact of vegetable waste is particularly notable, as 21% of the global carbon footprint of food waste comes from this commodity, equivalent to that of meat and second only to cereals.

According to the FAO, cassava, which is a staple for food security in the Caribbean, experiences losses of up to 23% in Guyana (worth $839,619) and 20% in Trinidad and Tobago (worth $500,000). Tomatoes are also highly vulnerable, with losses of 20% in Saint Lucia, 27% in Trinidad and Tobago and 34% in Guyana.

Mangos also suffer from a high degree of waste with critical loss points occurring during harvesting, packaging and retailing. Most of Guyana’s 32% loss and Trinidad’s 17% loss in this commodity occur during packaging.

According to Barbados-based Industrial Designer, Mark Hill, “30% of the solid waste that ends up in Barbados’ landfills comes from food. In a rudimentary survey of families in Barbados, we have found that local households are producing about two kilos of food waste per day, with families that have a more vegetable-intensive diet producing the majority of the waste.”

A similar trend can be found for the rest of the region. 20 to 30% of food produced in Jamaica is lost annually— equivalent to $7 billion (FAO, 2017). Guyana's National Institute for Agricultural Research and Extension estimates that about 30% of all fruits and vegetables produced in the country are wasted. The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) reports a 35% loss for vegetables in Haiti.

Proactive initiatives across the supply chain can help to make a significant difference. The main political forum of the region, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), has included Food Loss and Waste Reduction as a major component of its Action Plan for Food and Nutrition Security and the Eradication of Hunger 2025. With this objective, the Inter American Development Bank has launched the #SinDesperdicio platform to leverage the efforts of the private and public sectors and civil society to help reduce food waste.

Many regional initiatives have involved investment in equipment and technology, particularly in storage and packaging, and training and development in post-harvest practices. With respect to production and harvest, Grenada has put forward a system of crop forecasting and planning. To avoid post-harvest losses, Guyana has improved equipment for the processing and storage of fruits and vegetables.

Chefs and restaurants have also become agents of change. Vegan Chef, Taymer Mason, who is based in Barbados, relishes in making tasty dishes out of foods that are typically thrown away— overripe breadfruit and molasses are valued ingredients in her new line of skin care products and award-winning recipes. “Molasses can be used as a butter substitute or in a vinaigrette. It can be used cosmetically to prevent greying and even as a facemask,” Mason declares of the typically wasted commodity. “It is a sin to waste!”

Design Council SIDS, a Barbados Not-for-Profit under the leadership of Mark Hill, has partnered with a Swedish biogas plant to convert food waste into biofuel. “We will use food waste that Barbadians will be increasingly forced to separate once the country’s upcoming single use plastics ban goes into effect, and tie it back to the 100% renewable energy target that we have as a country,” explains St. Hill.

Jamaican Food Production Company, Canco Limited’s environmental division, Ecowells, collects, processes and manages the company's organic waste, which includes ackee pods and seeds and fruit and vegetable peelings from its food-processing plant. Composting biodegradable waste results in the production of value-added products for the agriculture industry.

Jamaicans have a saying, “before good food waste, mek belly bus” loosely translated to mean, by all means do not waste food! Globally, food waste is a major problem economically, socially, ethically and environmentally and with a carbon foot print impact in Latin America and the Caribbean that is the highest in the developing world and with an additional 7 to 10 calories of production inputs that are lost with each documented calorie of waste, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 to halve all food waste by 2030 is a critical priority for the region.


Latin America And The Caribbean Has The Highest Food Waste Carbon Footprint In The Developing World

In the Caribbean, supply chain issues impact the food wastage carbon footprint via the production of greenhouse gases in the production, processing, transport, storage and disposal of all non-consumed food. The disposal stage of the food value chain produces significant emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide and methane and ultimately leads to a food production increases that impact land/ water use and quality, and loss of biodiversity.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), these cumulative environmental impacts produce a food wastage carbon footprint of 540kg of CO2 per capita in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region— the fourth highest Carbon footprint associated with food wastage in the world, and the highest in the developing world.

The region’s annual loss in food supplies represents 6% of global food losses or 2% of all food produced globally. The carbon footprint associated with global food loss (1/3 of all food produced globally) is about 3.3 billion tons of C02— 8% of global emissions per year.

In the LAC region, food losses are mainly due to poor infrastructure and poorly organized value chains and occur at varying amounts in production, handling and storage, processing, distribution and at the consumer level, translating to approximately 223 kg of food wasted per person per year (FAO).

Some commodities are more vulnerable than others. Fruits and Vegetables constitute more than 40% of the food waste in the region and according to a 2015 FAO report, the volume of fruit wasted in Latin America and the Caribbean is the 4 th highest of all commodities wasted globally. Physical damage, deterioration, high temperatures and drying have been identified as major problems in the fruit and vegetable value chain (University of the West Indies, FAO) resulting in more than 55% of all fruits and vegetables going to waste (FAO).

Fruits and Vegetables constitute more than 40% of food waste in the LAC region

The impact of vegetable waste is particularly notable, as 21% of the global carbon footprint of food waste comes from this commodity, equivalent to that of meat and second only to cereals.

According to the FAO, cassava, which is a staple for food security in the Caribbean, experiences losses of up to 23% in Guyana (worth $839,619) and 20% in Trinidad and Tobago (worth $500,000). Tomatoes are also highly vulnerable, with losses of 20% in Saint Lucia, 27% in Trinidad and Tobago and 34% in Guyana.

Mangos also suffer from a high degree of waste with critical loss points occurring during harvesting, packaging and retailing. Most of Guyana’s 32% loss and Trinidad’s 17% loss in this commodity occur during packaging.

According to Barbados-based Industrial Designer, Mark Hill, “30% of the solid waste that ends up in Barbados’ landfills comes from food. In a rudimentary survey of families in Barbados, we have found that local households are producing about two kilos of food waste per day, with families that have a more vegetable-intensive diet producing the majority of the waste.”

A similar trend can be found for the rest of the region. 20 to 30% of food produced in Jamaica is lost annually— equivalent to $7 billion (FAO, 2017). Guyana's National Institute for Agricultural Research and Extension estimates that about 30% of all fruits and vegetables produced in the country are wasted. The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) reports a 35% loss for vegetables in Haiti.

Proactive initiatives across the supply chain can help to make a significant difference. The main political forum of the region, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), has included Food Loss and Waste Reduction as a major component of its Action Plan for Food and Nutrition Security and the Eradication of Hunger 2025. With this objective, the Inter American Development Bank has launched the #SinDesperdicio platform to leverage the efforts of the private and public sectors and civil society to help reduce food waste.

Many regional initiatives have involved investment in equipment and technology, particularly in storage and packaging, and training and development in post-harvest practices. With respect to production and harvest, Grenada has put forward a system of crop forecasting and planning. To avoid post-harvest losses, Guyana has improved equipment for the processing and storage of fruits and vegetables.

Chefs and restaurants have also become agents of change. Vegan Chef, Taymer Mason, who is based in Barbados, relishes in making tasty dishes out of foods that are typically thrown away— overripe breadfruit and molasses are valued ingredients in her new line of skin care products and award-winning recipes. “Molasses can be used as a butter substitute or in a vinaigrette. It can be used cosmetically to prevent greying and even as a facemask,” Mason declares of the typically wasted commodity. “It is a sin to waste!”

Design Council SIDS, a Barbados Not-for-Profit under the leadership of Mark Hill, has partnered with a Swedish biogas plant to convert food waste into biofuel. “We will use food waste that Barbadians will be increasingly forced to separate once the country’s upcoming single use plastics ban goes into effect, and tie it back to the 100% renewable energy target that we have as a country,” explains St. Hill.

Jamaican Food Production Company, Canco Limited’s environmental division, Ecowells, collects, processes and manages the company's organic waste, which includes ackee pods and seeds and fruit and vegetable peelings from its food-processing plant. Composting biodegradable waste results in the production of value-added products for the agriculture industry.

Jamaicans have a saying, “before good food waste, mek belly bus” loosely translated to mean, by all means do not waste food! Globally, food waste is a major problem economically, socially, ethically and environmentally and with a carbon foot print impact in Latin America and the Caribbean that is the highest in the developing world and with an additional 7 to 10 calories of production inputs that are lost with each documented calorie of waste, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 to halve all food waste by 2030 is a critical priority for the region.


Latin America And The Caribbean Has The Highest Food Waste Carbon Footprint In The Developing World

In the Caribbean, supply chain issues impact the food wastage carbon footprint via the production of greenhouse gases in the production, processing, transport, storage and disposal of all non-consumed food. The disposal stage of the food value chain produces significant emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide and methane and ultimately leads to a food production increases that impact land/ water use and quality, and loss of biodiversity.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), these cumulative environmental impacts produce a food wastage carbon footprint of 540kg of CO2 per capita in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region— the fourth highest Carbon footprint associated with food wastage in the world, and the highest in the developing world.

The region’s annual loss in food supplies represents 6% of global food losses or 2% of all food produced globally. The carbon footprint associated with global food loss (1/3 of all food produced globally) is about 3.3 billion tons of C02— 8% of global emissions per year.

In the LAC region, food losses are mainly due to poor infrastructure and poorly organized value chains and occur at varying amounts in production, handling and storage, processing, distribution and at the consumer level, translating to approximately 223 kg of food wasted per person per year (FAO).

Some commodities are more vulnerable than others. Fruits and Vegetables constitute more than 40% of the food waste in the region and according to a 2015 FAO report, the volume of fruit wasted in Latin America and the Caribbean is the 4 th highest of all commodities wasted globally. Physical damage, deterioration, high temperatures and drying have been identified as major problems in the fruit and vegetable value chain (University of the West Indies, FAO) resulting in more than 55% of all fruits and vegetables going to waste (FAO).

Fruits and Vegetables constitute more than 40% of food waste in the LAC region

The impact of vegetable waste is particularly notable, as 21% of the global carbon footprint of food waste comes from this commodity, equivalent to that of meat and second only to cereals.

According to the FAO, cassava, which is a staple for food security in the Caribbean, experiences losses of up to 23% in Guyana (worth $839,619) and 20% in Trinidad and Tobago (worth $500,000). Tomatoes are also highly vulnerable, with losses of 20% in Saint Lucia, 27% in Trinidad and Tobago and 34% in Guyana.

Mangos also suffer from a high degree of waste with critical loss points occurring during harvesting, packaging and retailing. Most of Guyana’s 32% loss and Trinidad’s 17% loss in this commodity occur during packaging.

According to Barbados-based Industrial Designer, Mark Hill, “30% of the solid waste that ends up in Barbados’ landfills comes from food. In a rudimentary survey of families in Barbados, we have found that local households are producing about two kilos of food waste per day, with families that have a more vegetable-intensive diet producing the majority of the waste.”

A similar trend can be found for the rest of the region. 20 to 30% of food produced in Jamaica is lost annually— equivalent to $7 billion (FAO, 2017). Guyana's National Institute for Agricultural Research and Extension estimates that about 30% of all fruits and vegetables produced in the country are wasted. The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) reports a 35% loss for vegetables in Haiti.

Proactive initiatives across the supply chain can help to make a significant difference. The main political forum of the region, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), has included Food Loss and Waste Reduction as a major component of its Action Plan for Food and Nutrition Security and the Eradication of Hunger 2025. With this objective, the Inter American Development Bank has launched the #SinDesperdicio platform to leverage the efforts of the private and public sectors and civil society to help reduce food waste.

Many regional initiatives have involved investment in equipment and technology, particularly in storage and packaging, and training and development in post-harvest practices. With respect to production and harvest, Grenada has put forward a system of crop forecasting and planning. To avoid post-harvest losses, Guyana has improved equipment for the processing and storage of fruits and vegetables.

Chefs and restaurants have also become agents of change. Vegan Chef, Taymer Mason, who is based in Barbados, relishes in making tasty dishes out of foods that are typically thrown away— overripe breadfruit and molasses are valued ingredients in her new line of skin care products and award-winning recipes. “Molasses can be used as a butter substitute or in a vinaigrette. It can be used cosmetically to prevent greying and even as a facemask,” Mason declares of the typically wasted commodity. “It is a sin to waste!”

Design Council SIDS, a Barbados Not-for-Profit under the leadership of Mark Hill, has partnered with a Swedish biogas plant to convert food waste into biofuel. “We will use food waste that Barbadians will be increasingly forced to separate once the country’s upcoming single use plastics ban goes into effect, and tie it back to the 100% renewable energy target that we have as a country,” explains St. Hill.

Jamaican Food Production Company, Canco Limited’s environmental division, Ecowells, collects, processes and manages the company's organic waste, which includes ackee pods and seeds and fruit and vegetable peelings from its food-processing plant. Composting biodegradable waste results in the production of value-added products for the agriculture industry.

Jamaicans have a saying, “before good food waste, mek belly bus” loosely translated to mean, by all means do not waste food! Globally, food waste is a major problem economically, socially, ethically and environmentally and with a carbon foot print impact in Latin America and the Caribbean that is the highest in the developing world and with an additional 7 to 10 calories of production inputs that are lost with each documented calorie of waste, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 to halve all food waste by 2030 is a critical priority for the region.


Latin America And The Caribbean Has The Highest Food Waste Carbon Footprint In The Developing World

In the Caribbean, supply chain issues impact the food wastage carbon footprint via the production of greenhouse gases in the production, processing, transport, storage and disposal of all non-consumed food. The disposal stage of the food value chain produces significant emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide and methane and ultimately leads to a food production increases that impact land/ water use and quality, and loss of biodiversity.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), these cumulative environmental impacts produce a food wastage carbon footprint of 540kg of CO2 per capita in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region— the fourth highest Carbon footprint associated with food wastage in the world, and the highest in the developing world.

The region’s annual loss in food supplies represents 6% of global food losses or 2% of all food produced globally. The carbon footprint associated with global food loss (1/3 of all food produced globally) is about 3.3 billion tons of C02— 8% of global emissions per year.

In the LAC region, food losses are mainly due to poor infrastructure and poorly organized value chains and occur at varying amounts in production, handling and storage, processing, distribution and at the consumer level, translating to approximately 223 kg of food wasted per person per year (FAO).

Some commodities are more vulnerable than others. Fruits and Vegetables constitute more than 40% of the food waste in the region and according to a 2015 FAO report, the volume of fruit wasted in Latin America and the Caribbean is the 4 th highest of all commodities wasted globally. Physical damage, deterioration, high temperatures and drying have been identified as major problems in the fruit and vegetable value chain (University of the West Indies, FAO) resulting in more than 55% of all fruits and vegetables going to waste (FAO).

Fruits and Vegetables constitute more than 40% of food waste in the LAC region

The impact of vegetable waste is particularly notable, as 21% of the global carbon footprint of food waste comes from this commodity, equivalent to that of meat and second only to cereals.

According to the FAO, cassava, which is a staple for food security in the Caribbean, experiences losses of up to 23% in Guyana (worth $839,619) and 20% in Trinidad and Tobago (worth $500,000). Tomatoes are also highly vulnerable, with losses of 20% in Saint Lucia, 27% in Trinidad and Tobago and 34% in Guyana.

Mangos also suffer from a high degree of waste with critical loss points occurring during harvesting, packaging and retailing. Most of Guyana’s 32% loss and Trinidad’s 17% loss in this commodity occur during packaging.

According to Barbados-based Industrial Designer, Mark Hill, “30% of the solid waste that ends up in Barbados’ landfills comes from food. In a rudimentary survey of families in Barbados, we have found that local households are producing about two kilos of food waste per day, with families that have a more vegetable-intensive diet producing the majority of the waste.”

A similar trend can be found for the rest of the region. 20 to 30% of food produced in Jamaica is lost annually— equivalent to $7 billion (FAO, 2017). Guyana's National Institute for Agricultural Research and Extension estimates that about 30% of all fruits and vegetables produced in the country are wasted. The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) reports a 35% loss for vegetables in Haiti.

Proactive initiatives across the supply chain can help to make a significant difference. The main political forum of the region, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), has included Food Loss and Waste Reduction as a major component of its Action Plan for Food and Nutrition Security and the Eradication of Hunger 2025. With this objective, the Inter American Development Bank has launched the #SinDesperdicio platform to leverage the efforts of the private and public sectors and civil society to help reduce food waste.

Many regional initiatives have involved investment in equipment and technology, particularly in storage and packaging, and training and development in post-harvest practices. With respect to production and harvest, Grenada has put forward a system of crop forecasting and planning. To avoid post-harvest losses, Guyana has improved equipment for the processing and storage of fruits and vegetables.

Chefs and restaurants have also become agents of change. Vegan Chef, Taymer Mason, who is based in Barbados, relishes in making tasty dishes out of foods that are typically thrown away— overripe breadfruit and molasses are valued ingredients in her new line of skin care products and award-winning recipes. “Molasses can be used as a butter substitute or in a vinaigrette. It can be used cosmetically to prevent greying and even as a facemask,” Mason declares of the typically wasted commodity. “It is a sin to waste!”

Design Council SIDS, a Barbados Not-for-Profit under the leadership of Mark Hill, has partnered with a Swedish biogas plant to convert food waste into biofuel. “We will use food waste that Barbadians will be increasingly forced to separate once the country’s upcoming single use plastics ban goes into effect, and tie it back to the 100% renewable energy target that we have as a country,” explains St. Hill.

Jamaican Food Production Company, Canco Limited’s environmental division, Ecowells, collects, processes and manages the company's organic waste, which includes ackee pods and seeds and fruit and vegetable peelings from its food-processing plant. Composting biodegradable waste results in the production of value-added products for the agriculture industry.

Jamaicans have a saying, “before good food waste, mek belly bus” loosely translated to mean, by all means do not waste food! Globally, food waste is a major problem economically, socially, ethically and environmentally and with a carbon foot print impact in Latin America and the Caribbean that is the highest in the developing world and with an additional 7 to 10 calories of production inputs that are lost with each documented calorie of waste, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 to halve all food waste by 2030 is a critical priority for the region.


Latin America And The Caribbean Has The Highest Food Waste Carbon Footprint In The Developing World

In the Caribbean, supply chain issues impact the food wastage carbon footprint via the production of greenhouse gases in the production, processing, transport, storage and disposal of all non-consumed food. The disposal stage of the food value chain produces significant emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide and methane and ultimately leads to a food production increases that impact land/ water use and quality, and loss of biodiversity.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), these cumulative environmental impacts produce a food wastage carbon footprint of 540kg of CO2 per capita in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region— the fourth highest Carbon footprint associated with food wastage in the world, and the highest in the developing world.

The region’s annual loss in food supplies represents 6% of global food losses or 2% of all food produced globally. The carbon footprint associated with global food loss (1/3 of all food produced globally) is about 3.3 billion tons of C02— 8% of global emissions per year.

In the LAC region, food losses are mainly due to poor infrastructure and poorly organized value chains and occur at varying amounts in production, handling and storage, processing, distribution and at the consumer level, translating to approximately 223 kg of food wasted per person per year (FAO).

Some commodities are more vulnerable than others. Fruits and Vegetables constitute more than 40% of the food waste in the region and according to a 2015 FAO report, the volume of fruit wasted in Latin America and the Caribbean is the 4 th highest of all commodities wasted globally. Physical damage, deterioration, high temperatures and drying have been identified as major problems in the fruit and vegetable value chain (University of the West Indies, FAO) resulting in more than 55% of all fruits and vegetables going to waste (FAO).

Fruits and Vegetables constitute more than 40% of food waste in the LAC region

The impact of vegetable waste is particularly notable, as 21% of the global carbon footprint of food waste comes from this commodity, equivalent to that of meat and second only to cereals.

According to the FAO, cassava, which is a staple for food security in the Caribbean, experiences losses of up to 23% in Guyana (worth $839,619) and 20% in Trinidad and Tobago (worth $500,000). Tomatoes are also highly vulnerable, with losses of 20% in Saint Lucia, 27% in Trinidad and Tobago and 34% in Guyana.

Mangos also suffer from a high degree of waste with critical loss points occurring during harvesting, packaging and retailing. Most of Guyana’s 32% loss and Trinidad’s 17% loss in this commodity occur during packaging.

According to Barbados-based Industrial Designer, Mark Hill, “30% of the solid waste that ends up in Barbados’ landfills comes from food. In a rudimentary survey of families in Barbados, we have found that local households are producing about two kilos of food waste per day, with families that have a more vegetable-intensive diet producing the majority of the waste.”

A similar trend can be found for the rest of the region. 20 to 30% of food produced in Jamaica is lost annually— equivalent to $7 billion (FAO, 2017). Guyana's National Institute for Agricultural Research and Extension estimates that about 30% of all fruits and vegetables produced in the country are wasted. The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) reports a 35% loss for vegetables in Haiti.

Proactive initiatives across the supply chain can help to make a significant difference. The main political forum of the region, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), has included Food Loss and Waste Reduction as a major component of its Action Plan for Food and Nutrition Security and the Eradication of Hunger 2025. With this objective, the Inter American Development Bank has launched the #SinDesperdicio platform to leverage the efforts of the private and public sectors and civil society to help reduce food waste.

Many regional initiatives have involved investment in equipment and technology, particularly in storage and packaging, and training and development in post-harvest practices. With respect to production and harvest, Grenada has put forward a system of crop forecasting and planning. To avoid post-harvest losses, Guyana has improved equipment for the processing and storage of fruits and vegetables.

Chefs and restaurants have also become agents of change. Vegan Chef, Taymer Mason, who is based in Barbados, relishes in making tasty dishes out of foods that are typically thrown away— overripe breadfruit and molasses are valued ingredients in her new line of skin care products and award-winning recipes. “Molasses can be used as a butter substitute or in a vinaigrette. It can be used cosmetically to prevent greying and even as a facemask,” Mason declares of the typically wasted commodity. “It is a sin to waste!”

Design Council SIDS, a Barbados Not-for-Profit under the leadership of Mark Hill, has partnered with a Swedish biogas plant to convert food waste into biofuel. “We will use food waste that Barbadians will be increasingly forced to separate once the country’s upcoming single use plastics ban goes into effect, and tie it back to the 100% renewable energy target that we have as a country,” explains St. Hill.

Jamaican Food Production Company, Canco Limited’s environmental division, Ecowells, collects, processes and manages the company's organic waste, which includes ackee pods and seeds and fruit and vegetable peelings from its food-processing plant. Composting biodegradable waste results in the production of value-added products for the agriculture industry.

Jamaicans have a saying, “before good food waste, mek belly bus” loosely translated to mean, by all means do not waste food! Globally, food waste is a major problem economically, socially, ethically and environmentally and with a carbon foot print impact in Latin America and the Caribbean that is the highest in the developing world and with an additional 7 to 10 calories of production inputs that are lost with each documented calorie of waste, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 to halve all food waste by 2030 is a critical priority for the region.


Latin America And The Caribbean Has The Highest Food Waste Carbon Footprint In The Developing World

In the Caribbean, supply chain issues impact the food wastage carbon footprint via the production of greenhouse gases in the production, processing, transport, storage and disposal of all non-consumed food. The disposal stage of the food value chain produces significant emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide and methane and ultimately leads to a food production increases that impact land/ water use and quality, and loss of biodiversity.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), these cumulative environmental impacts produce a food wastage carbon footprint of 540kg of CO2 per capita in the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region— the fourth highest Carbon footprint associated with food wastage in the world, and the highest in the developing world.

The region’s annual loss in food supplies represents 6% of global food losses or 2% of all food produced globally. The carbon footprint associated with global food loss (1/3 of all food produced globally) is about 3.3 billion tons of C02— 8% of global emissions per year.

In the LAC region, food losses are mainly due to poor infrastructure and poorly organized value chains and occur at varying amounts in production, handling and storage, processing, distribution and at the consumer level, translating to approximately 223 kg of food wasted per person per year (FAO).

Some commodities are more vulnerable than others. Fruits and Vegetables constitute more than 40% of the food waste in the region and according to a 2015 FAO report, the volume of fruit wasted in Latin America and the Caribbean is the 4 th highest of all commodities wasted globally. Physical damage, deterioration, high temperatures and drying have been identified as major problems in the fruit and vegetable value chain (University of the West Indies, FAO) resulting in more than 55% of all fruits and vegetables going to waste (FAO).

Fruits and Vegetables constitute more than 40% of food waste in the LAC region

The impact of vegetable waste is particularly notable, as 21% of the global carbon footprint of food waste comes from this commodity, equivalent to that of meat and second only to cereals.

According to the FAO, cassava, which is a staple for food security in the Caribbean, experiences losses of up to 23% in Guyana (worth $839,619) and 20% in Trinidad and Tobago (worth $500,000). Tomatoes are also highly vulnerable, with losses of 20% in Saint Lucia, 27% in Trinidad and Tobago and 34% in Guyana.

Mangos also suffer from a high degree of waste with critical loss points occurring during harvesting, packaging and retailing. Most of Guyana’s 32% loss and Trinidad’s 17% loss in this commodity occur during packaging.

According to Barbados-based Industrial Designer, Mark Hill, “30% of the solid waste that ends up in Barbados’ landfills comes from food. In a rudimentary survey of families in Barbados, we have found that local households are producing about two kilos of food waste per day, with families that have a more vegetable-intensive diet producing the majority of the waste.”

A similar trend can be found for the rest of the region. 20 to 30% of food produced in Jamaica is lost annually— equivalent to $7 billion (FAO, 2017). Guyana's National Institute for Agricultural Research and Extension estimates that about 30% of all fruits and vegetables produced in the country are wasted. The Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) reports a 35% loss for vegetables in Haiti.

Proactive initiatives across the supply chain can help to make a significant difference. The main political forum of the region, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), has included Food Loss and Waste Reduction as a major component of its Action Plan for Food and Nutrition Security and the Eradication of Hunger 2025. With this objective, the Inter American Development Bank has launched the #SinDesperdicio platform to leverage the efforts of the private and public sectors and civil society to help reduce food waste.

Many regional initiatives have involved investment in equipment and technology, particularly in storage and packaging, and training and development in post-harvest practices. With respect to production and harvest, Grenada has put forward a system of crop forecasting and planning. To avoid post-harvest losses, Guyana has improved equipment for the processing and storage of fruits and vegetables.

Chefs and restaurants have also become agents of change. Vegan Chef, Taymer Mason, who is based in Barbados, relishes in making tasty dishes out of foods that are typically thrown away— overripe breadfruit and molasses are valued ingredients in her new line of skin care products and award-winning recipes. “Molasses can be used as a butter substitute or in a vinaigrette. It can be used cosmetically to prevent greying and even as a facemask,” Mason declares of the typically wasted commodity. “It is a sin to waste!”

Design Council SIDS, a Barbados Not-for-Profit under the leadership of Mark Hill, has partnered with a Swedish biogas plant to convert food waste into biofuel. “We will use food waste that Barbadians will be increasingly forced to separate once the country’s upcoming single use plastics ban goes into effect, and tie it back to the 100% renewable energy target that we have as a country,” explains St. Hill.

Jamaican Food Production Company, Canco Limited’s environmental division, Ecowells, collects, processes and manages the company's organic waste, which includes ackee pods and seeds and fruit and vegetable peelings from its food-processing plant. Composting biodegradable waste results in the production of value-added products for the agriculture industry.

Jamaicans have a saying, “before good food waste, mek belly bus” loosely translated to mean, by all means do not waste food! Globally, food waste is a major problem economically, socially, ethically and environmentally and with a carbon foot print impact in Latin America and the Caribbean that is the highest in the developing world and with an additional 7 to 10 calories of production inputs that are lost with each documented calorie of waste, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 to halve all food waste by 2030 is a critical priority for the region.


Watch the video: Central America u0026 Caribbean (January 2022).