Currently, about a third of food is lost or wasted globally each year, occurring at the consumer and retailer level, well as at the production level, in the form of on-farm and in-storage losses. In the EU, there is no common definition of food wastage, and methodologies for quantifying wastage vary – and declaration signatories have pledged to work toward a common approach.
The new initiative, dubbed ‘Every Crumb Counts’, was signed by the European food industry trade association FoodDrinkEurope, and other associations that signed the declaration cover different parts of the food supply chain, including EUROPEN, which represents the packaging sector; the European Federation of Foodbanks; and the Sustainable Restaurant Association.
The aim of the declaration is to work toward preventing waste, to promote a life-cycle approach to reducing wastage, and to examine how better food recovery and exploring new markets could contribute to economic growth. It is in line with a European Commission goal to halve food wastage in the EU by 2020.
FoodDrinkEurope president Jesús Serafín Pérez said: “We are encouraged by the degree of support that the Joint Food Wastage Declaration, ‘Every Crumb Counts’ has received so far; it is our hope that this will be rolled out effectively not only among actors along the food supply chain, but also by other groups, thereby contributing significantly to the flagship EU 2020 Goal for a resource-efficient Europe.”
FoodDrinkEurope said it had also launched a toolkit for the food industry to help manufacturers avoid food wastage.
The food wastage declaration is available online here.