We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
This brief on food waste one out of a series of Bioeconomy Knowledge Centre briefs which intend to provide independent evidence for EU policy in this field. The following are the key results:
1. According to a recent analysis, 129 Mt of food waste were generated in the EU in 2011. This represents 20% of the food produced. Vegetables, fruit and cereals are the food groups that produce the largest amount of food waste.
2. Most food waste is generated during the consumption stage (46%), almost as much as the amounts generated during the primary production (25%) and processing and manufacturing stages (24%) combined. Distribution and retail account for a very small fraction of the food waste generated in the food supply chain.
3. The food waste generated at the processing stage has a high valorisation potential, as the food waste streams are present in large, concentrated and homogeneous quantities. Food waste can be transformed into a range of added-value products through several valorisation pathways. The technological and economic feasibility and the environmental impacts of these products need to be