EESC calls on the Commission to take steps to end to food waste in the EU

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted in its latest plenary session an opinion that calls on the European Commission to take steps to counter this dramatic trend aggravated by the economic crisis which is the food waste in the EU. Food waste amounts to 89 million tonnes a year in the EU, while 79 million EU citizens live below the poverty line.

An opinion adopted in the latest EESC plenary session, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) calls for a coordinated strategy at European level, combining EU-wide and national measures, to improve the efficiency of the food supply and consumption chains and to tackle food wastage as a matter of urgency. In January 2012, a European Parliament resolution for urgent measures to halve food waste was also adopted.

The EESC therefore recommends developing platforms for exchanging experience on combating food waste and passing on existing examples of good practices: channelling products from the food retail and catering sectors to food banks, initiatives on taxation, discharge of liability for donors or removal of administrative constraints are a few actions already successfully implemented in some EU countries and regions.

The prevention and reduction of food losses and food waste must be given a key place on the political agenda, according to the opinion. Combating food waste is already a fully-fledged policy in some Member States and regions. The EESC calls for it to be made an EU-wide policy. Some 79 million EU citizens live below the poverty line and 16 million depend on food aid, while 30% of food (89 million tonnes per year) gets wasted.