Topic outline

Food loss is a complex issue, often with multiple and interrelated causes operating at different levels. This e-learning course introduces the FAO Case study methodology for the analysis of critical food loss points. This method focuses on revealing and analyzing the multidimensional causes of losses in selected food supply chains, identification of critical loss points, and recommendation of feasible food loss reduction solutions and strategies.


The target audience for this course includes:

  • Field level programme officers who wish or need to design, organize, coordinate and implement a food loss analysis.
  • Technical advisors and academics who want to learn more about the topic in order to teach others.

The course aims to provide practical guidance, and quickly develop an understanding of the topic.

  • The underlying concept of food loss and definitions of different types of losses.
  • The symptoms and underlying causes of food loss throughout the food supply chain.
  • The concept of food loss analysis, different approaches, and the steps of the case study methodology.
  • How to interpret results and synthesize into a full food loss analysis report.
  • How to communicate conclusions and recommendations to stakeholders.

This course consists of 12 lessons, ranging from approximately 20 to 50 minutes duration, grouped into three units:

Unit 1 - Introduction to food loss analysis and the case study methodology

This unit develops an understanding of the concepts and purpose of food loss analysis, as well as the dynamic nature of food loss.

  • Lesson 1.1 Introduction
  • Lesson 1.2 - What is food loss analysis? 
  • Lesson 1.3 - Food Loss Analysis (FLA) concepts and frameworks
  • Lesson 1.4 - FLA case study methodology

Unit 2 - Steps 1 - 5 of the case study methodology 

Focusing on cereals and legumes, the five lessons in this unit focus upon the first five steps of the case study methodology in detail.

  • Lesson 2.1 - Preparing to implement the FAO Food Loss Analysis Case Study Methodology
  • Lesson 2.2 - Screening
  • Lesson 2.3 - Survey
  • Lesson 2.4 - Load tracking
  • Lesson 2.5 - Synthesis and solution finding

Unit 3 - A detailed look at step 6 - reporting and communicating FLA results 

This unit concludes the course by considering in detail the final step of the case study methodology: interpretation and utilization of results, and communicating these with different audiences.

  • Lesson 3.1 - Interpreting and utilizing Food Loss Analysis results
  • Lesson 3.2 - Communicating conclusions and recommendations
  • Lesson 3.3 - Three types of reporting

The online version of this course runs on the latest versions of the major browsers, such as Chrome, Safari, Edge and Firefox.

The downloadable version only runs on Windows PC’s and no additional software is needed.

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