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Food Safety

Food waste reduction targets

About the targets

As called for by the Farm to Fork Strategy, the Commission will propose legally binding targets to reduce food waste across the EU by the end of 2023, defined against a baseline for EU food waste levels set following the first EU-wide monitoring of food waste levels. The food waste reduction targets will be proposed as part of a wider initiative to revise the "Waste Framework Directive" which is expected to propose measures to reduce waste generation and increase preparation for re-use or recycling of waste (more information here). The Commission is carrying out an impact assessment with public consultation in order to support its legislative proposal.

On 1 October 2021, the Commission published the Inception Impact Assessment on setting EU-level targets for food waste reduction through the Have your say portal. The Inception Impact Assessment presents the policy context, the objectives and policy options of the proposal to set EU-level targets, as well as a preliminary assessment of its expected impacts. Furthermore, it also offers an indicative timeline regarding the adoption of the legislative proposal. During the one-month feedback period, the Commission received 85 responses from 19 countries. In general, respondents expressed wide support for the establishment of the targets with the majority of the comments calling for ambitious action. The Commission also held a targeted consultation on 22 October 2021 with members of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste (FLW) on the policy options proposed in the Inception Impact Assessment (information below).

The Joint Research Centre supports the work on setting EU food waste reduction targets, in particular on the Impact Assessment of the legislative proposal, by gathering data on food waste prevention activities and by analysing the environmental and economic impacts of different target levels.

The Commission launched an open public consultation on the revision of the Waste Framework Directive on 24 May 2022, including setting of EU food waste reduction targets. Citizens and other interested parties were invited to submit their opinion on food waste prevention until 24 August 2022 via the Have your say portal. Findings from the public consultation show overall support for setting food waste reduction targets and agreement with benefits related to reducing food waste, in particular reducing environmental and climate impacts. According to respondents, the most important challenge concerns the need for consumers to adopt new habits. A summary of the replies is available on the portal and will feed into the ongoing work on the impact assessment that accompanies the Commission proposal to set EU targets to reduce food waste.

For the first time, the Commission organised Citizens’ panels in order to exchange views with citizens and harness their insights on how to step up action to reduce food waste in the EU. The first Citizens’ panel met between December 2022 and February 2023 to discuss food waste. The outcome of this panel are citizens’ recommendations to support the Commission’s work on food waste, including the legislative proposal to set EU food waste reduction targets. These recommendations also serve as a guide to help Member States in achieving the future targets.

Citizens’ recommendations in food waste prevention.

Related meetings

10-12 February 2023, 3rd citizens’ panel

On 11 February, discussions will take place in small working groups, which will not be web-streamed.

20-22 January 2023, 2nd citizens’ panel

On 21 January, discussions will take place in small working groups, which will not be web-streamed.

16-18 December 2022, 1st citizens’ panel

Follow the first Citizens’ panel taking place between 16 and 18 December 2022!

On 17 December, discussions took place in small working groups, which were not web-streamed.

18 November 2021

Presentation of the feedback received on the Inception Impact Assessment during the plenary meeting of the EU Platform on FLW. The presentation and summary report of the meeting can be found here.

22 October 2021

Targeted consultation on the Inception Impact Assessment with the EU Platform on FLW. The agenda, presentation and summary report of the meeting can be found here.