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EDP: Food waste is a scandal

The European Parliament has today adopted an ambitious report calling for action to reduce food waste and loss across the European Union. Despite the EU’s approval of the the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development, which calls for a 50 per cent reduction in food waste, the production and disposal of EU food waste still leads to the emission of 170 million tonnes of CO2 and consumes 261 million tonnes of resources. Estimates suggest that 88 million tonnes of food are wasted in the EU each year.

The report calls on the European Commission to review current EU legislation to see if it is fit for purpose and identify if there are gaps, overlaps or areas in need of clarification or further action. The Parliament calls for existing EU guidelines on food donation to be reviewed. The report also calls for steps to be taken to improve citizens’ understanding of food, food safety, and food waste and its causes.

Ulrike Müller (Germany, Free Voters), shadow rapporteur for this report for the ALDE Group, commented from Strasbourg:
“It’s a scandal that 88 million tonnes of food is currently wasted in the EU every year. MEP’s have today united to send a strong signal that this must be tackled, as it concerns all of us directly.“

“Currently, more than fifty different EU policies are linked to the fight against food waste, but what we need is a coherent, horizontal approach if we are to deliver meaningful reductions.“

“Food waste happens at every stage of the food chain, but two measures will have the most meaningful impact. Firstly, we need more consumer information and education, because according to reports, consumers cause approximately 53 per cent of food waste.”

“Secondly, food donations must be facilitated. Businesses are often keen to donate unsold food rather than dispose it, but lack the framework to do it. Our priority should be to incentivise best practice.”

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