We are hungry for better targets!

6th Jul 23 by Roberta Arbinolo from European Environmental Bureau

The European Environmental Bureau warns the proposal by the European Commission to fight food waste may lack teeth.

The European Commission released today its plans to revise the Waste Framework Directive, with a focus limited to new rules on the responsibility of textile producers, and new food waste reduction targets. The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) warns the proposal may lack teeth to effectively slash overproduction and waste in the food and textiles sectors.

Food waste: hungry for better targets 

The Commission has put forward proposals for new binding food waste reduction targets, which member states must achieve by 2030. With food waste in the EU at record levels and reports of the region discarding more food than it imports, setting new targets for member states to cut back on food waste is a step in the right direction.

However, the EEB warns that the proposed targets of 10% in processing and manufacturing, and 30% at retail and consumption are too low to cut food waste down to sustainable levels. The EU has signed up to Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 which aims to halve food waste by 2030, but the current proposal does not match that ambition.

In addition, the Commission’s decision to exclude primary production food waste from the targets means a huge chunk of the food waste picture has been overlooked. To inspire the level of action needed to tackle the food waste problem, NGOs have been calling for legally binding food waste reduction targets of 50% to be set from farm to fork.

Martin Bowman, senior policy and campaigns manager at Feedback, said:

“In 2012, the European Parliament called on the Commission to take action to halve food waste by 2025, and in 2017 the Parliament again called for a 50% reduction by 2030, across the whole supply chain. After a decade of delays, whilst it is a positive step that the Commission is proposing legally binding food waste targets, the Commission’s unambitious proposals for the scale of the targets is an insult. By proposing a target lower than 50% reduction, the Commission is effectively planning to fail to meet Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 to halve food waste by 2030. By excluding primary production food waste, and proposing a pitifully low target of 10% reduction for manufacturing – despite a significant portion of supply chain food waste occurring in these sectors – the Commission has effectively given businesses a free pass to continue wasting food, in particular supermarkets causing food waste in their suppliers. The Commission have completely ignored the calls of 52 organisations who called for a 50% reduction in food waste from farm to fork. We urgently call on the European Parliament and Council to propose amendments to these targets to ensure they require a 50% reduction in food waste from farm to fork, and for the Commission to increase its ambition when it comes to negotiations.”

Thus, the next step is for the European Parliament and Council to come up with their positions, before three-way negotiations to finalise the legally binding targets.

Would you like to support our Statement on EU legally binding targets to reduce food waste? We are coalition of organisations and public figures who are calling for the EU to introduce ambitious legally binding food waste reduction targets. If you’d like to support the statement as an organisation or public figure, you can fill out this form.

What can you do next?
You want to know more?

Together with EEB, we can explain you why we need ambitious legally binding EU food waste targets

Read it here
What do countries think?

Feedback EU and the EEB have collaborated to create a short survey asking EU member states for their views on EU legally binding food waste targets.

Find out what they answered