EU actions against food waste

EU actions against food waste

The European Commission is taking the issue of tackling food waste very seriously. Reducing food waste has enormous potential for reducing the resources we use to produce the food we eat. Being more efficient will save food for human consumption, save money and lower the environmental impact of food production and consumption.

Food waste prevention is an integral part of the Commission's new Circular Economy Package to stimulate Europe's transition towards a circular economy which will boost global competitiveness, foster sustainable growth and generate new jobs.

The Circular Economy Package consists of an EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy and annex to the action plan outlining the timetable for proposed actions, and related legislative proposals on waste. The Revised EU Waste Legislation, adopted on 30 May 2018 by co-legislators, calls on the EU countries to take action to reduce food waste at each stage of the food supply chain, monitor food waste levels and report back regarding progress made.

The EU and the EU countries are committed to meeting the Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 target to halve per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level by 2030, and reduce food losses along the food production and supply chains.

To support achievement of the SDG targets for food waste reduction in the EU, the Commission is:

  • elaborating a common EU methodology to measure food waste consistently in co-operation with EU countries and stakeholders
  • operating a multi-stakeholder platform (EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste) involving both EU countries and actors in the food chain in order to help define measures needed to achieve the food waste SDG, facilitate inter-sector co-operation, and share best practice and results achieved
  • taking measures to clarify EU legislation related to waste, food and feed and facilitate food donation and use of food no longer intended for human consumption in animal feed, without compromising food and feed safety
  • examining ways to improve the use of date marking by actors in the food chain and its understanding by consumers, in particular "best before" labelling.

Co-operation with EU member states and stakeholders

Through the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste, the Commission is analysing in close cooperation with industry, consumer and other NGOs, research institutes and EU countries policy experts how to reduce food waste without compromising food safety, while also discussing options for possible EU actions. Prior to the establishment of the EU Platform, cooperation had been facilitated through the EU countries Expert Group and a stakeholder Working Group on Food Losses and Food Waste.

EU countries


EXPO Milan 2015