Food Wastage Toolkit

Maximising Food Resources: A toolkit for food manufacturers on avoiding food wastage

Why food wastage?

While hunger is the world’s number one health risk[1], about one third of food for human consumption is lost or wasted globally each year[2]. In addition, when food is wasted, all of the resources that were put into its production are lost. Not only are these increasingly scarce resources, such as water and fuel, lost, but greenhouse gas emissions are also associated with the disposal of food. Therefore, food wastage represents a missed opportunity to feed the growing world population, a major waste of resources and a needless source of greenhouse gas emissions that impacts climate change. It also has negative economic consequences for everyone along the food chain when food goes to waste. 

Why this toolkit?

This toolkit serves as a building block towards our 2030 Environmental Sustainability Vision, in which our members commit to “[working] with food chain and other stakeholders, policymakers, retailers and consumer organisations, to reduce and, where possible, avoid food waste along the chain” and to developing a food waste toolkit[3]. This toolkit also underpins our commitments under the Joint Food Wastage Declaration “Every Crumb Counts”.

With this toolkit, we wish to set a benchmark in the global fight against food wastage. We do this because it is crucial for the long-term sustainability of the food chain. In doing so, we will contribute towards the EU’s goal of achieving a resource efficient economy[4] and a sustainable food chain[5]. This declaration also explores how new markets and better food recovery can contribute to economic growth[6]. We also support the many global[7], European[8], national[9] and individual voluntary efforts to reduce food wastage.

Aims & Objectives

This toolkit is intended to help food and drink manufacturers prevent food wastage within their own operations and to show how food manufacturers can also help other supply chain partners prevent food wastage. It further gives recommendations for policymakers to support these actions.

The toolkit’s objectives are to:

  • Raise awareness of food wastage
  • Contribute to a stronger, more competitive and resource efficient industry
  • Disseminate guidance for identifying, preventing and reducing food wastage

[1] 10 Things You Need To Know About Hunger, World Food Programme 2013.

[2] Global Food Losses and Food Waste, Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology, commissioned by FAO 2012.

[4] as outlined in the EC Resource Efficiency Roadmap

[5] to be further discussed in the forthcoming European Commission Sustainable Food Communication

[6] Relevant to the on-going review of EU waste legislation, national Waste Prevention Programmes, Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation and the strategy and action plan on Innovating for Sustainable Growth: a Bio-economy for Europe

[7] FAO and UN Environment Programme’s “Think, Eat, Save” campaign

[8] European Parliament’s Written declaration on food waste and Resolution on Avoiding food waste: how to improve the efficiency of the food chain in the EU, European Commission’s funding of research to measure food waste, dissemination of information and good practices database

[9] UK “Love Food Hate Waste” campaign, Dutch working group on Food Waste, France’s food waste action plan, Irish draft Household Food Waste Collection Regulation, Spanish food waste initiative, Swedish National Waste Prevention Program which makes food waste a key topic, Norwegian ForMat food waste reduction project, and initiatives in Belgium