Topic 1.5: What is EU doing to reduce food waste?

With the launch of the European Green Deal in December 2019, the EU reaffirmed its commitment to halving food waste (per capita) at retail and consumer levels by 2030. One year later, the European Commission proposed a series of strategies and policy tools to reduce food loss and waste under the two pillars of the Green Deal: the Circular Economy Action Plan and the Farm to Fork Strategy.

As part of the new “Farm to Fork” strategy, a key element of the European Green Deal, the EU will step up its action to prevent food loss and waste along the whole food value chain. Given its important environmental and economic impacts, food waste prevention and the need to adopt a more sustainable production and consumption model was put forward as a priority area in the EU’s first Circular Economy Action Plan, adopted in 2015. The Action Plan called on the Commission to establish a multi-stakeholder platform dedicated to food waste prevention.

From food.ec.europa.eu

In 2016, the Commission set up the EU Platform against Food Loss and Waste, bringing together EU institutions, national experts and relevant stakeholders to step up EU efforts to halve food waste by 2030. The platform’s role is to identify measures that are necessary to prevent food waste, sharing good practices and assessing progress over time.

EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste has supported the Commission in its work to adopt EU guidelines to facilitate food donation and the feed use of food no longer intended for consumption, and develop a food waste measurement methodology, and is supporting work to improve date marking practices. Tackling food waste requires rethinking how we produce, market, distribute and consume food. The Recommendations for action in food waste prevention, adopted by the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste in December 2019, can make an important contribution to this redesign of our food systems.