According to a briefing published by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), a staggering 89 million tonnes of food waste is generated in the European Union (EU) each year. To mitigate that, the European Parliament has asked for 2014 to be designated as 'European year against food waste'. Read more…
Food waste, with 189kg generated per person per year in Europe, has a significant negative impact on the environment and on the economy. The EU has committed to halving the disposal of edible food by 2020, while a number of national initiatives have been introduced by Member States to tackle the issue.
Although food can be lost in various stages of the supply chain, such as production and distribution, the EPRS briefing concludes that the largest part of food waste in developed countries is generated at a household level. This often means that food is discarded while it is still suitable for human consumption and can be attributed to urbanisation, consumption habits and changes to diets.
In developing countries, food waste occurs mainly at the farm or producer stage. Moreover, per capita, food waste generation is much higher in the industrialised world than it is in developing countries, leading to greater resource losses, a waste of arable land and higher carbon emissions.
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