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Health & Consumer Voice - October - 2011 Edition

EU Food Safety Day: Commissioner Dalli on food waste

In the framework of the EU 2020 Resource Efficiency Flagship programme, the Commission is looking at how to minimise food waste and improve food packaging without compromising food safety.

In this context, Commissioner John Dalli celebrated the EU’s Food Safety Day (15 September) by visiting the Brussels Food Bank. With annual food waste in Europe currently estimated at 89 million tonnes – about 179 kg per capita – and expected to rise to 126 million tonnes by 2020, much of this could be avoided simply through better management.

Highlighting the cost of waste, Commissioner Dalli underlined it was the responsibility of all actors along the food chain to address the problem. “We need to mobilise people to reduce the amount of food waste they generate,” he said. “This means customers planning shopping better, retailers managing stocks better and restaurants allowing customers to take leftovers home. Wasting so much food is unacceptable from an environmental, economic and ethical point of view.”

Food for thought: food waste in numbers:
89 million tonnes: annual food waste in the EU
565 euros: is the cost of food waste per household per year
60%: of EU household food waste could be avoided
33%: of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally each year

For more info on the EU’s policy on food safety and food security, visit the Health & Consumers’ website:
http://ec.europa.eu/food/index_en.htm