EU sets new food waste targets

Published: 05/07/2023

The European Commission today published EU food waste targets under its revision of the Waste Framework Directive. FoodDrinkEurope Director General Dirk Jacobs has issued the following statement in response: 

FoodDrinkEurope is committed to help Europe’s food and drink sector in reducing food loss and waste and supports the European Commission’s aspiration to hit the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (UN SDG) target to halve food waste per capita by 2030.

In order to meet this ambition, today’s Commission proposal sets a new target to reduce food waste from processing and manufacturing by 10% by 2030, from 2020 levels.

We remain supportive of the UN target, and the Commission’s aspiration, but it remains important not to undermine efforts of Member States and actors along the food value chain that have already taken steps towards food waste reduction using a 2015 baseline, as per the UN SDGs.

It will also be important for the Commission to collect robust and reliable food waste data from Member States which is representative and comparable – this applies to the 2020 baseline as well as subsequent years. This will enable our sector to meet food waste targets and facilitate effective food waste prevention strategies at national level.

FoodDrinkEurope is currently developing guidelines to help businesses reduce their waste alongside a handbook to help companies to donate surplus food to Europe’s network of food banks. FoodDrinkEurope’s member companies have also taken major steps towards food waste reduction. You can learn more about these activities in our Action Plan for Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems.   

FoodDrinkEurope will continue working closely with the EU, national authorities and other stages of the food supply chain to drive out inefficiencies within supply chains and prevent food waste from occurring in the first place.