Food Systems: a ‘recipe’ for food waste prevention


22 Jan 2019


Press Contact: Pierre Condamine, Waste Policy Officer, Zero Waste Europe
[email protected]
+32 (0) 2 73 62 091

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Brussels 23/01/2019

Members of the European Parliament started discussing the commission proposal for the Common Agricultural Policy future

for the 2021-2027 period. At the same time and in accordance with the updated Waste Framework Directive the Commission

has to adopt a delegated act establishing a common methodology for food waste measurement by the end of March.

Tackling food waste should then remain a high priority which translates into ambitious measures.

Food waste is an ethical, economic, social and environmental issue accounting for 8% of the global greenhouse gas emissions (1).

In the EU, an average of 88 million tons of food are wasted every year, equating to 173 kg of food waste per person.

Reducing food waste is also part of the 12.3 Sustainable Development Goals target stating that by

“By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production

and supply chains, including post-harvest losses”. The same goals are part of the European Commission’s 10 priorities.

Reducing food waste and making it a priority therefore means moving towards better, fairer and more sustainable

production and consumption methods.

In that sense, measures at the European level should:

  • Adopt a comprehensive vision of food waste covering the whole food system and not only its end (consumption)
  • Be defined by a specific and ambitious food waste hierarchy as the general waste hierarchy is not relevant for food waste

In that perspective, Zero Waste Europe issues specific guidelines and recommendations aimed at helping policy-makers to adopt

an ambitious legislation and promoting a Zero Waste society.

Download the Policy Briefing


  1. FAO. “Food Waste – Food Safety – European Commission.” Food Safety. Accessed October 30, 2018.