EU sets out common methodology to measure food waste

It aims to ensure coherent monitoring of food waste levels for more data to be collated to put the food system onto a sustainable path

The European Commission has set out a common methodology for food waste measurement to support member states on quantifying it at each stage of the supply chain.

The Delegated Act will ensure coherent monitoring of food waste levels across the EU for more data to be collated to put the food system onto a sustainable path.

Every year around 20% of food produced in the EU is lost or wasted – preventing food waste was identifying as one of the priority areas in the Circular Economy Action Plan adopted by the Commission in December 2015.

While the Delegated Act defines what needs to be measured as food waste at each stage of the food supply chain and how this should be carried out, it provides flexibility as to how data collection should be carried out at the national level.

Jyrki Katainen, Vice President for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, in charge of Health and Food Safety said: “The business case for food waste prevention is convincing. Research shows a 14:1 return on investment for companies which integrated reduction of food loss and waste in their operations. I count on the active participation of food business operators to measure, report and act on food waste levels.

“In food waste, as in life, what gets measures, gets managed. To be able to implement effective national food waste prevention programmes and promote circularity in the food chain, we need to know where, what, how much and why we are losing food resources. We are making the decisive step to get this knowledge.”

The Delegated Act is subject to scrutiny by co-legislators and will be sent to the Parliament and the Council by the end of July.

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