Historic plan to cut EU food waste in half. Thank you
The EU has agreed an historic commitment to halve food waste across Europe, following campaigning by Friends of the Earth supporters and others.
60,000 of you joined us and almost 50 other organisations to demand that countries across Europe commit to tackle the scandal of wasted food – and our voices were heard.
For the first time ever, members of the European Union have formally pledged to try and cut their food waste by 50% by 2030, in line with global Sustainable Development Goals.
This is an amazing aspiration.
Vitally, these targets aim to halve food waste right from primary production stage to the consumer. With thousands of tonnes of food lost or wasted before they even reach the shops, tackling the whole supply chain is going to be crucial.
And even though Britain is set to leave Europe by 2019, these changes should come into force before then, which will help keep pressure on our government to tackle UK food waste from farm to fork.
Tackling food waste and fighting food poverty
There are about 55 million people in food poverty in Europe – and the food wasted throughout the continent could feed them over 9 times over.
Food poverty means people are not able to afford healthy, nutritious food, or can’t get the food they would like to eat.
So it's also important that the EU vote also introduced a clear disposal "hierarchy", requiring governments to try and ensure all edible food is diverted to hungry people before other measures like recycling or using waste food to generate energy are considered.
In the UK alone over 10 million tonnes of food are wasted each year. Halving wasted food will not only save people from going hungry but also help to tackle climate change.
The food waste fight isn’t over
Despite these successes, there is still much to be done about food waste. Members of the European Union have committed to: "aim to achieve… a Union food waste reduction target of 30% by 2025 and 50% by 2030, compared to the 2014 baseline."
The wording of this target isn't binding. It includes a lot of "shoulds" and not enough "musts".
So over coming months environment ministers from around Europe need to push for genuine action to cut food waste.
We’ll be working with organisations across Europe to make sure ministers know this commitment must translate into practical action – and we'll be calling for it to be strengthened at every opportunity.
And when the UK does leave the EU, we’ll all need to make sure that laws around food waste become stronger, not weaker.
Please join us to make this a reality.
European food waste and the Waste Directive
Last year it looked like this inspirational target to cut food waste by 50% by 2030 might get barely a mention in European policy. Now it’s back in main text of the Waste Directive with support from all corners of the EU.
One third of food produced around the globe is wasted. Together we’ve helped move the EU closer to ending this scandal for good.
How you can help keep up the pressure
You can join thousands of others fighting food waste and eating food that's great for our planet and health by signing up for our emails via the orange button below.
In return we'll keep you up to date with a monthly email full of tasty tips and ideas for action.
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