About the day
The United Nations General Assembly designated 29 September as the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste (IDAFLW). The day is co-convened by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the day’s events are led jointly by the two organisations.
The goal is to raise awareness to the importance of the problem and its possible solutions at all levels, and to promote global efforts and collective action towards meeting the Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.3, which targets 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.
The European Commission welcomes this initiative and joins FAO, UNEP and other relevant organisations in the global call to action against food loss and waste. Reducing food loss and waste is an integral part of the EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system, which proposes to set legally binding targets to reduce food waste across the EU by 2023 and revise EU rules on date marking (‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates) in order to avoid unnecessary discarding of food linked to misunderstanding of the meaning of these dates.
The international day 2022
For this year’s edition, FAO and UNEP issued a call to action for public and private entities from across the food system and consumers, to work together to cut food loss and waste to enhance the efficient use of natural resources, mitigate climate change, and support food security and nutrition. Further information can be found in the “Get Involved” guide.
Are you planning any events to celebrate the IDAFLW 2022? Share them with a growing community of experts and practitioners on the EU Food Loss and Waste Prevention Hub!
Download our communication kit and help us spread the word!
For the second observance of the IDAFLW on 29 September 2021, FAO and UNEP issued a call to action for both the public (national or local authorities) and the private (businesses) sectors, as well as individuals, to prioritize actions and move ahead with innovation to reduce food loss and waste towards restoring and building back better and resilient-ready, food systems.
In order to mark the IDAFLW in 2021, the Commission launched a new website, the EU Food Loss and Waste Prevention Hub.
The new website aims to be a “one-stop-shop” for information on food waste prevention in the EU, allowing all stakeholders active in food loss and waste prevention and reduction to share best practices (resources database), find relevant information (such as policy and legislative developments - Member States pages) and stay up-to-date with the latest news. The main objective of this platform is to foster the exchange of knowledge and experience and to help disseminate the different initiatives carried out to tackle food losses and food waste, in order to inspire and drive further action on the ground, across the EU and beyond.
Join us and help us build a growing community of experts and practitioners, working towards the Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 Target!
For the first IDAFLW on 29 September 2020, FAO issued a call to action for public authorities (regional, national, local,...), the private sector (farmers, companies, consumer organisations, other Non-Governmental Organisations,...) and individuals worldwide to promote, use and scale-up innovation and technologies to tackle the problem of food loss and waste.
The European Commission contributed to the day by organising a series of activities in order to inform and engage citizens and stakeholders regarding food loss and waste prevention, in partnership with members of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste.
Social media campaign
The Commission proposed a series of visuals in various EU languages with advice for citizens on how to avoid food waste at home. The visuals were available in different formats, for different social media channels. The Commission invited all stakeholders to circulate the materials with their networks and help raise awareness about ways to prevent food waste at home!
Other Commission activities
- The European Commissioner on Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, issued a Statement on the importance of tackling food waste;
- A news article co-signed by the European Commissioner Stella Kyriakides and the German Minister for Food and Agriculture, Julia Klöckner, was published in the daily German newspaper WELT.
Participation in stakeholders' events
The European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, and the Deputy Director-General at the EU Commission Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety, Claire Bury, intervened at events organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations and the European Food Banks Federation (FEBA) to commemorate the day:
- The Commissioner gave opening remarks (by video) at the inaugural celebration of the IDAFLW organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations. The virtual event brought together the world's top experts on food loss and waste. You can see the recording of the event here. The Commissioner also delivered opening remarks (by video) at the stakeholders dialogues held in the context of the virtual event organised by the European Food Banks Federation (FEBA). The interactive event primarily involved European food banks, but also public institutions and private actors (profit and non-profit). You will find the recordings of the stakeholders dialogues here.
- The Deputy Director-General at the EU Commission Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety delivered the keynote speech at the virtual FAO Brussels Dialogue, organised by the FAO Brussels Liaison Office. You can find the recording of the event here.
The members of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste prepared a series of events and activities to mark the first edition of IDAFLW:
Disclaimer: Information included in the calendar of events does not necessarily represent the official position of the European Commission.
BEUC, the European Consumer Organisation
News piece: How are consumer groups doing their share?
To mark the first International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, BEUC gathered examples of activities that consumer groups across Europe are carrying out to help reduce food waste at household level. From initiatives aiming at raising awareness about food waste among consumers, to providing recommendations and practical tips to prevent food waste at home, to promoting a better understanding and use of the "use by" and "best before" dates, consumer organisations can play an important role in tackling food waste.
Official launch of the "Alliance for the reduction of food waste" in Greece
Boroume, in its capacity as Secretariat/coordinator of the Alliance, is organising the official launch of the "Alliance for the reduction of food waste", which will take place on 29 September 2020. A series of communication activities are foreseen in order to mark the launch of the Alliance (eg. informative leaflet, press release, etc.). The Alliance brings together key stakeholders, such as public authorities, professionals and companies throughout the entire food supply chain, civil society organisations, the academic and research community. Signatories to this Voluntary Cooperation Agreement will engage in a common endeavor and concerted action towards preventing and reducing food waste in Greece.
Danish Ministry of Environment and Food & Danish Think Tank on Prevention of Food Loss and Food Waste ONE\THIRD
"Danmark redder maden" (Denmark saves food)
The Danish Minister for Food, Fisheries and Equal Opportunities, Mogens Jensen, designated 29 September 2020 as the first official 'National Food Waste Day' aligned with the IDAFLW. The Danish Ministry of Environment and Food and the Danish Think Tank on Prevention of Food Loss and Food Waste ONE\THIRD will officially launch the 'National Food Waste Day' in Denmark. A series of activities are also foreseen by a number of Danish organisations in order to mark the day.
A voluntary agreement, aligned with the Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.3, is signed among the Danish Minister for Food, Fisheries and Equal Opportunities, KL – Local Government Denmark (the association and interest organisation of the 98 Danish municipalities), business organisations, as well as 25 companies.
Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality & Samen Tegen Voedselverspilling (Food Waste Free United) and Wageningen University & Research
Consumer awareness campaign
The Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature & Food Quality will carry out a communication campaign for consumers on the difference between "use by" and "best before" date markings.
Online Impact Session: Tackling inhibiting regulations for food losses and waste reduction in the Netherlands
Wageningen University & Research in collaboration with Samen Tegen Voedselverspilling (Food Waste Free United) and the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature & Food Quality will organise on 29 September 2020 an online Impact Session on the progress made on the national food waste prevention programme, the Food Loss and Waste week initiative (1-7 September) and the strategy to implement the Top 10 selected measures to tackle inhibiting regulation.
Estonian Ministry of the Environment, Estonian Foodbank, Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs and Estonian Ministry of Rural Affairs
Consumer awareness campaign
The Estonian Ministry of the Environment will launch a campaign on 29 September 2020 that will involve tips to prevent food waste at home, as well as information on date marking. The materials will be promoted on TV, radio, social media and on billboards in different towns in Estonia. The headline of the campaign will be "Austa toitu jäägitult!", which can be translated as "Respect food completely" or "Respect food without leftovers".
The Estonian Foodbank, the Estonian Ministry of the Environment, the Estonian Ministry of Social Affairs and the Estonian Ministry of Rural Affairs organise a conference, which will be held on 29 September 2020 and will focus on the prevention of food waste from the perspective of food redistribution. Every year, a lot of high-quality food is thrown away even if it could be redistributed to those in need. Lessons to be learned from other countries regarding food redistribution will be presented by experts and practitioners from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and France. Estonian public authorities and research institutes will offer an overview of national work in food waste prevention. The experience of different sectors in Estonia will also be presented by various stakeholders across the food supply chain.
European Food Banks Federation
Food, no waste! European food banks: concrete answers for the people, for the planet
An interactive virtual event, organised on 29 September 2020 in an attractive and innovative way, primarily involving European food banks but also inviting public institutions and private actors (profit and non-profit). The event will foresee a variety of activities organised by FEBA and its members.
Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations
The observance of the first International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste
The inaugural celebration of the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, approved by the General Assembly and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 2019, will take place on 29 September 2020. FAO will hold a virtual event (at 16:00 CET) to bring together the world's top experts on Food Loss and Waste to discuss on this urgent matter. It will make a call to action for both the public (national or local authorities) and the private sector (businesses and individuals), to promote, harness and scale-up innovation and technologies to stem the problem of food loss and waste.
FAO Brussels Dialogue: Our dream for a better planet without food loss and waste: it is possible
The FAO Liaison Office in Brussels will organise a virtual event on 29 September 2020 (from 10:30 to 12:00 CET) where high-level speakers and the audience will discuss the systemic challenges linked to food losses and waste and their solutions, from investments in infrastructure and logistics to improving the use of science and innovative methodologies.
FoodWIN & Oostkamp city, Flanders Belgium
Workshop for the creation of Oostkamp city’s strategy against food waste
On 28 September 2020, the city of Oostkamp and FoodWIN are organising a workshop with the aim to create an action plan against food waste for the region. Participants, including local stakeholders, will estimate the amount of food waste per sector of the food supply chain and map existing initiatives in their region, while also discussing inspiring ideas for new actions against food waste.
FoodWIN, ODC Antwerp & Rikolto
In Antwerp, Belgium, 10 local restaurants are taking up the fight against food waste by preparing delicious meals using food surpluses and distributing them to citizens and schools. The recipients will need to pass through a challenge before receiving the meals: an online Food Waste Quiz to complete, from 29 September 2020 onwards! The goal of the initiative is to raise awareness about the food waste issue in a fun way. On top of that, the quiz will also challenge participants to take action within their own houses. This campaign is an initiative of FoodWIN in cooperation with local restaurants, the local food redistribution platform 'ODC Antwerp' and Rikolto.
German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture
National week of action "Germany saves food!"
The first national week of action against food waste (from 22 to 29 September 2020) is an initiative of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the ministries of the federal states. More information and an overview of events planned so far can be found on the initiative's dedicated website.
Health Care Without Harm
Webinar: Preventing food waste in French hospitals
The webinar will be held on 29 September 2020 (at 16:00 CET) in French and will focus on the challenges and opportunities of implementing healthy and sustainable food initiatives and contributing to France’s national objective of reducing food waste by 50% by 2025. Invited speakers will present their work to prevent and reduce food waste in French hospitals.
Irish Environmental Protection Agency
Social media campaign
The campaign will promote IDAFLW and its messages in Ireland, sharing relevant material through the Irish Environmental Protection Agency network, Stop Food Waste (SFW) social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) and other stakeholders’ social media platforms. The campaign also plans to release new information on Irish citizens’ attitudes towards food waste from a national representative survey conducted in early September and to run a poll on SFW Instagram account to ask what Irish consumers do to prevent food waste and save food.
Lithuanian Consumer Institute
Sincerely, Food: a week of events to mark 1st IDAFLW
The Lithuanian Consumer Institute, the lead partner of a consortium of six NGOs in six countries, is organising a week of initiatives (from 25 September to 2 October 2020) to celebrate the first IDAFLW. In the course of this week, a number of activities and events are planned: an infotainment pavilion at the Culture Night Vilnius event, a waste-free food prepping lab “Cook your way towards global awareness” with a food blogger, a podcast on food waste, a training session on the global impact of food waste for school teachers, as well as an online contest “Ideas for a waste-free tomorrow”.
Luxembourgish Ministry of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development
We’re against wasting food - are you with us? : spotlight on current and future initiatives against food loss and waste
To celebrate the first IDAFLW, the Ministry of Agriculture will present several Luxembourgish initiatives against food loss and waste on the platform of the national "Antigaspi" campaign. In addition, a call for projects will be launched on the day in order to encourage people to take action in preventing and reducing food waste. Given a number of specific criteria, up to five project owners will receive financial support to turn their ideas into reality.
Romanian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development & Romanian Ministry of Education
Consumer awareness campaign
The campaign will run from 22 to 29 September 2020 and will target consumers from pre-University education units and will be based on an information package ("Do good- Save food! Educating future generations for a zero waste world!") published by FAO in 2019.
Slovenian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food
Launch of the Statement on cooperation in reducing food losses and waste in the food supply chain
The Slovenian authorities will organise on 29 September 2020 an event at which stakeholders of the food supply chain will be invited to sign a Statement of Intent to support the EU Farm to Fork Strategy in reducing food losses and food waste, publicly commit to achieve SDG Target 12.3 (respecting the hierarchy of food waste management), promote the Key Recommendations for action in food waste prevention developed by the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste and participate in the implementation of the Slovenian National Strategy for Less Food Losses and Food Waste. The National Strategy for Less Food Losses and Food Waste will also be subject to public discussion on IDAFLW.
Stop Wasting Food Movement, Denmark
The campaign includes the following activities: video campaign with Danish celebrity TV chef and influencer Pernille Morthensen; sharing of tips against food waste from founder of Stop Wasting Food movement Selina Juul’s cookbook against food waste “Food With Respect” with participation of HRH Princess Marie of Denmark; campaigns against food waste with Frederiksberg Municipality, Denmark’s Restaurants & Cafes Association (DRC), REMA 1000 retail chain and Jespers Torvekokken foodservice and catering company; education campaigns in schools and high schools and Danish national libraries; opinion-editorials on food waste in newspapers.
Swedish Food Agency
Consumer awareness campaign in social media
The campaign aims to raise awareness among consumers about food waste generated at home and the need to change such discarding behaviours. On IDAFLW, an online tool will also be made available, providing feedback to consumers on how they can reduce their food waste. Other stakeholders will be invited to share the available materials and use #svinnsikt.
Consumer awareness campaign
Vlaco, a Flemish organisation with representatives of both the Flemish government and the private sector, is organising an awareness campaign targeting Flemish households. The campaign includes a motion graphic presenting 7 easy tips on how to prevent food waste at home and a social media quiz on food waste topics, with a surprise gift for winners.