Tuesday, 15 December 2015
What happens in Brussels can have a dramatic effect on producers and processors in the UK so AHDB Pork contributes to running an office there. The team and I spend our time keeping tabs on what’s happening. Here we take a look at report on food waste.
Every year we throw away or waste about a third of all the food produced globally says the Food and Agriculture Organisation – around 1.3 billion tonnes! In the EU alone that amounts to 100 million tonnes and, if nothing is done, that could rise to more than 120 million tonnes by 2020. This is clearly not sustainable.
Taking a look behind the figures, the reasons for food waste vary according to the type of country. In medium and high income countries, such as Europe, they relate mainly to consumer behaviour.
An EU survey actually showed the majority of people emphasised individual responsibility when it came to ways to reduce food waste. Almost two thirds said better shopping and meal planning would contribute to the reduction of waste. Europeans also highlighted the important role of economic factors in the food supply chain, identifying the responsibility of shops and retailers, the hospitality and food service sectors as well as food manufacturers.
The Commission has published a Circular Economy Package. Contrary to what was expected, the EU does not set specific EU targets on food waste reduction. However, among the considered measures (a common EU methodology to measure food waste, better communication of date marking labelling), they shared their intention to clarify EU legislation relating to waste. This may be an interesting news for the meat sector. The Commission already made it clear that the food waste prevention strategy cannot, in any circumstances whatsoever, jeopardise the safety of the food and feed chain. It will therefore be interesting to see how future initiatives in this area will be seeking to clarify and, wherever possible, lift any barriers which prevent the safe use and reuse of food in the food and feed chains.