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.
The JRC has developed a harmonised methodology to estimate food waste generated by EU countries.
The new method - as reported in De Laurentiis et al, 2021 - quantifies food waste at country level allowing the comparison of food waste generation across countries.
The EU Bioeconomy Monitoring System has been updated to include the JRC food waste indicators.
The JRC has developed a harmonised methodology to estimate food waste generated by EU countries in support of the Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC) annual reporting obligation for food waste generation.
The model developed computes waste generated at each step of the supply chain and by food group.
Food waste has been identified as one of the priority areas of the Circular Economy Action Plan and the Farm to Fork Strategy of the European Commission, both important components of the European Green Deal.
The food waste indicator can support tracking progress towards the EU’s goal to halve the per capita food waste at retail and consumer levels by 2030, thus contributing to Goal 12 of the Sustainable Development Goals.
For each country, the consumption stage is identified as the major contributor to the total amount of food waste generated.
At EU level and across the whole supply chain, the food groups that produce the largest amount of food waste overall are vegetables, fruit and cereals, although there are important variations from country to country.
As one of its strategies to develop solutions and tools to address consumer food waste, the Commission is currently setting up a multi-disciplinary European Consumer Food Waste Forum.
Researchers and practitioners will work together in this forum to find solutions and develop tools to help reduce consumer food waste.
Other new indicators appearing in the EU Bioeconomy Monitoring System this week are Crop yield, Recycling rate of municipal waste and Share of renewables for transport, electricity and heating & cooling.