Food Waste EU New Proposal target


Food Waste EU New Proposal target

Sep. 13 2023

Resilient food systems and farming are essential for a sustainable future. That’s the message underpinning the European Commission’s latest proposals, revealed on July 5, 2023.

Developed as part of the Green Deal, the Commission announced a package of new measures targeting the sustainable use of key natural resources. This decisive action will see the adoption of new laws and Regulations on soil, plant and forest reproductive materials, and, crucially, food waste reduction.

The reality of food waste

Close to 59 million metric tons of food are wasted in the EU each year. This is equivalent to 131 kilograms per inhabitant and carries an estimated market value of €132 billion. While households generate approximately 50% of this waste, the processing and manufacturing sector accounts for at least 20%.

The ramifications of food waste are serious and wide spread, from biodiversity loss and an increased carbon footprint to food poverty and economic loss. As such, fighting food waste offers a triple win:

  • It contributes to consumer food security
  • It helps companies and consumers save money
  • It reduces the environmental impact of food production and consumption

The EU’s vision

The EU’s proposal on food waste reduction is a legal obligation that will apply to all member states. It mandates the reduction of overall food waste in stores, restaurants and households by 30% per capita by the end of 2030, based on 2020 figures. Furthermore, a 10% reduction-binding target will be put in place to tackle food waste during the processing and manufacturing of food.

These targets will help the EU deliver on the Green Deal as well as ensure that players across the supply chain are working toward the same goal: building a sustainable, resilient future.

Leading the charge

The EU’s proposal sets an extraordinary precedent, making it the first region in the world to adopt legally binding targets to reduce food loss and waste reduction in member states. Beyond accelerating progress toward SDG 12.3, the proposal will promote critical reduction strategies – such as the Target-Measure-Act” approach promoted by Champions 12.3 – and support consumer behavior change.

The role of certification

To meet ambitious potential requirements, food industry players must implement processes to quantify both overall food waste impact, and where in the process it is most significant. An effective quantification stage will enable them to set personalized targets and establish a relevant, efficient food waste prevention plan.

Numerous stakeholders, including NGOs and coalitions, are offering their tools and support to companies looking to build a food waste strategy. A testing, inspection and certification company like Bureau Veritas can guide an organization through the entire process.

Using our services, which range from gap analysis to management system certification, companies can create a food waste strategy that is aligned with regulation and international targets. We can also support organizations with process implementation and monitoring, enabling them to progress toward their goals.

Taking concrete action

Bureau Veritas is committed to assisting companies in the food industry on their sustainability journey. By working together, we can Shape a Better World for people and planet. Head to our website to learn how we can support you.