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Food Safety

EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste

About the platform

The EU and the EU countries are committed to meeting Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 12.3, adopted in September 2015, which aims to halve per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level by 2030, and reduce food losses along the food production and supply chains. Quantification of European food waste levels (latest estimate by Eurostat, 2022) reveal that 71% of EU food waste arises in the household, food service and retail sectors, with production and processing sectors contributing the remaining 29%.

Tackling food waste means working together with all key players from public and private sectors in order to better identify, measure, understand and find solutions to deal with food waste. There is not one single cause with one solution because the food chain is a complex and dynamic system. All actors in the food chain need to work together to find solutions, from farmers, processors, manufacturers and retailers through to consumers themselves. Policy makers, research scientists, food banks and other NGOs also play an important role.

In order to support achievement of SDG Target 12.3 on food loss and waste and maximise the contribution of all actors, the Communication on Circular Economy (2015) called on the Commission to establish a Platform dedicated to food waste prevention. Thus the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste (FLW) was established in 2016, bringing together EU institutions, experts from the EU countries, international organisations and relevant stakeholders selected through an open call for applications. The Platform aims to support all actors in: defining measures needed to prevent food waste; sharing best practice; and evaluating progress made over time.

The first mandate of the Platform ended in December 2021. Read the activity report to learn more about the main achievements of the Platform. According to the assessment of progress made in implementing the Council conclusions on food losses and food waste, under the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Member States have benefited from the exchange of information and experience made possible by the Platform, which have often inspired further action at national level. The Farm to Fork Strategy also points to the role of the Platform’s recommendations for action in helping to show the way forward for all actors.

The EU Platform will continue to play a key role in mobilising action to reduce food loss and waste across the EU as part of the Farm to Fork Strategy. The Platform was re-established in 2022 for a second mandate, until 2026. Public entities were invited to join its work for another 5-year term and private sector organisations were selected as members following a public call for applications that closed on 23 July 2021.

In addition to plenary meetings, the Platform also operates in sub-groups to examine specific aspects and/or questions related to food waste prevention. Five sub-groups have been established to date:

Learn more

Learn about the EU Platform’s work on food waste prevention by watching the video below:

 

Update: "Latest Eurostat data (2020) indicate that 36.2 million people cannot afford a quality meal (including meat, chicken, fish or vegetarian equivalent) every 2nd day, rather than 43 million as indicated in the video".