Up to 50% of food gets wasted in EU households, supermarkets, restaurants and along the food supply chain each year, while 79 million EU citizens live beneath the poverty line and 16 million depend on food aid from charitable institutions.
Currently food wastage amounts in the EU27 to 89 million tonnes per annum (i.e. 179 kg per capita) and the projection for 2020 – if no action is taken – is 126 million tonnes (i.e. a 40% increase).
Food waste prevention and reduction are important aspects in the wider context of food security and resource efficiency. In its recent CAP-Opinion the EESC recommends that the Commission review best food waste reduction practices in countries such as Germany and support them with legislative measures at EU level.
The proposed own-initiative opinion should give impetus to draw up at the European level a coordinated strategy, combining EU-wide and national measures, to improve the efficiency of food supply and consumption chains and to tackle food wastage as a matter of urgency.