According to the findings of the Flash Eurobarometer survey on food waste and date marking, most consumers recognise their own role in food waste prevention, while just under half (47%) of Europeans understand the meaning of ‘best before’ labelling and somewhat fewer (40%) are aware of the meaning of ‘use by’.
Indeed, nearly two thirds of those surveyed mention better food management at home as the main way of reducing food waste – while almost half highlight the need for clearer information on the meaning of date marking and on food labels more generally.
The EC said the study confirms a need to pursue targeted information and educational initiatives on date marking that take into account the level of understanding and information needs of different consumer groups in EU countries.
“If we do nothing, food waste could rise to over 120 million tonnes by 2020,” said Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner in charge of Health and Food Safety. “In Europe alone, it accounts for estimated annual losses of €200 billion to the European economy.”
“Food waste reduction requires commitment and action from farm to fork, and I am pleased to see that over three-quarters of Europeans recognise their own role alongside other actors. By working together to prevent food waste, we can save valuable food resources, money and lower our environmental footprint.”