In the EU, around 88 million tonnes of food waste are generated annually with associated costs estimated at 143 billion euros (FUSIONS, 2016).
Wasting food is not only an ethical and economic issue but it also depletes the environment of limited natural resources. By reducing food losses and waste to help achieve Sustainable Development Goals (notably SDG Target 12.3), we can also:
- support the fight against climate change (food waste alone generates about 8% of Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions (FAO, 2015))
- save nutritious food for redistribution to those in need, helping to eradicate hunger and malnutrition (some 33 million people in the EU cannot afford a quality meal every second day (Eurostat, 2018))
- save money for farmers, companies and households.
All actors in the food chain have a role to play in preventing and reducing food waste, from those who produce and process foods (farmers, food manufacturers and processors) to those who make foods available for consumption (hospitality sector, retailers) and ultimately consumers themselves.
The central goal of EU food safety policy is to protect both human and animal health. We cannot compromise on these standards but, in co-operation with Member States and stakeholders, are looking for every opportunity to prevent food waste and strengthen sustainability of the food system.
This website provides information on EU actions to tackle food waste, including the work of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste, communications materials to help raise awareness about the issue, information about the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste and a resources library.
The monthly newsletter of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste offers an overview of food loss and waste prevention initiatives taken by its members. Stay up to date with the latest news by subscribing here
Learn more about the EU’s work on food waste prevention by watching the video below:
Update: “Latest Eurostat data (2018) indicate that 33 million people cannot afford a quality meal (including meat, chicken, fish or vegetarian equivalent) every 2nd day, rather than 43 million as indicated in the video”.