European framework for dealing with food waste

Tue 13 June 2017

We are delighted that apart from strong activation and mobilization of civil society, initiatives have been taken to formulate policies to tackle food waste in European and global institutions.

Boroume actively participates in the work of the European Union Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste, composed of representatives of the public and private sectors involved in preventing food waste, such as competent authorities of the Member States, representative European associations and federations from the entire spectrum of the food chain, non-profit organisations, EU institutions, and international organisations.

We also note with keen interest the developments in the adoption of a legislative framework within the European Union regarding "Circular economy". In this context are included, among others, specific measures and tools to achieve the objective of reducing food waste by 50% by 2030, in line with the objectives for sustainable development adopted by the United Nations.

It is worth noting that the European Parliament has spoken out in favour of setting binding EU targets for reducing food waste and recommends the adoption of measures by Member States to reduce wastage by 30% by 2025 and by 50% by 2030 compared to the 2014 levels (proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2008/98/EC on waste). Underway are the relevant interinstitutional negotiations with the Council and the Commission.

In parallel, the European Parliament's Committee on the environment has drawn up and adopted a report on “initiative on resource efficiency: reducing food waste, improving food safety". The motion for a resolution is put to the vote at the current plenary session of the European Parliament.

In summary, EU Member States are invited to adopt appropriate measures for achieving the above quantitative targets. Indeed, it is considered necessary to establish an annual reporting obligation of Member States to the Commission. To this end, the issue of a common methodology for counting food waste levels is crucial, as well as difficulties in quantifying losses at the primary production stage, and the single application of specific hierarchy for waste management (prevention at source/ edible food rescue, prioritising human use over animal feed and the reprocessing into non-food products /organic recycling/waste disposal).

Furthermore, Member States are invited to adopt concrete measures for facilitating the donation of excess food, such as voluntary agreements, provision of financial and tax incentives. At the same time, of extreme importance are the issues of liability and food safety control salvaged and offered.

The Boroume team continues with enthusiasm and perseverance the daily effort to reduce food waste in Greece and the parallel increase of food support of charitable bodies. Of course, it will assist decisively to achieve the -hopefully- ambitious targets that will be set at European level.

Image source: Eurobarometer, Research Centre