EU Food Loss and Waste Prevention Hub

Member State Page : Finland


Picture 1
Food loss and waste data – national:

643 million kg food loss and waste (edible fraction 351-376 million kg) in 2018/2019


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Food loss and waste data – sectoral:

Primary production: 51 million kg 
Processing and manufacturing: 160 million kg (84 million kg edible fraction)
Retail and other distribution of food: 57 million kg
Restaurants and food services: 78 million kg (61 million kg edible fraction)
Households: 281-310 million kg (127-137 million kg edible fraction)


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Targets:

Reduce food waste by 50% by 2030



Contact point

Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE): email 1, email 2, email 3

Target

Finland aims to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030. A voluntary commitment signed by relevant public authorities and actors of the food industry includes relevant targets to reduce food waste (e.g. a reduction of minimum 13% of food waste in retail by 2021, as compared to 2016 levels).

Measure

Finland has built a national food waste monitoring system through a dedicated project (2018-2021). The project has developed tools for monitoring and reporting on food losses and waste, with the aim to identify the most efficient measurement methods for each stage of the food chain. For example, the amount of food waste generated in households has been assessed by using three methodologies: compositional analysis, a diary-based study and a survey.

In the context of this project, the Natural Resources Institute of Finland (LUKE) has collected one-year baseline data on the volumes of food losses and waste across the food supply chain, based on various quantification methods used over the past years (some of them put in place since 2008). The results indicate that the annual amount of food losses and waste is 643 million kg (edible fraction 351-376 million kg). Sectoral food loss and waste data is available in the table above.

 

Act

The national waste plan to 2023 (2018) includes the aim to halve food waste by 2030. A roadmap to reduce food losses and waste is annexed to the national waste plan.  

Food waste prevention measures have also been included in the governmental Report on Food policy (2018), as well as in the Report on medium-term climate policy plan for 2030 (2017), which highlights the reduction of food waste as a climate policy measure.

A research project called Lexfoodwaste (2016-2018) identified regulatory actions that influence the generation of food waste, including regulations on labelling or storage temperatures, as well as areas of action where regulatory actions are needed. 

A voluntary commitment for material efficiency in the food sector has been signed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and the Ministry of Environment, as well as by the Finnish Food and Drink Industries' Federation, the Finnish Grocery Trade Association and the Finnish Packaging Association. The voluntary commitment aims to reduce the impacts of food preparation, distribution and consumption, and it includes relevant targets to reduce food waste (e.g. reduction of minimum 13% of food waste in retail by 2021, as compared to 2016 levels). 

The Finnish Food Authority has prepared guidelines to facilitate donations of foodstuffs to food aid (2017, updated in 2019). The Finnish Hospitality Association (MaRa) has published guidelines for its members to reduce food loss and waste (2021).

Changing consumer behaviour regarding food is an important component of the roadmap to reduce food losses and waste. The roadmap foresees measures to change the operating environment of food businesses, packaging and serving design, but also to carry out research in consumer behaviour. Efforts to reduce food waste at consumer level include communication initiatives to raise awareness and to educate consumers about the issue. Communication materials on date marking have been developed by the Finnish Food Agency, as well as other actors, in order to avoid consumer misunderstanding of the meaning of the dates and thus avoid food waste. Information and communication materials on the topic of food waste are provided online on websites such as Saasyödä and Hävikkiviikko. Government funded initiatives such as the Food Waste Week campaign and the Food Waste Battle school competition take place every year.

Educational activities in schools and early childhood education centres, as well as measures to reduce food waste in these institutions, are also part of the roadmap. The Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish National Agency for Education provide online and support materials to teach pupils about sustainable consumption, including the reduction of food waste. In the higher grades of the Finnish basic education system, pupils are taught home economics, covering aspects related to sustainable eating and food waste prevention.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment and Business has supported the development of initiatives to reduce food waste, such as the Res-Q application (is a platform for selling surplus food from restaurants) and Fiksuruoka (an online store for selling surplus groceries at discounted prices).