Besides the election of a president and vice-presidents for the Parliament, one of the main subjects being debated during this session will be the food chain – imbalances in the food supply chain, the distribution chain for agricultural raw material and also food waste. Italian MEP, Salvatore Caronna (S&D) wrote a report on the latter which focused on how to avoid food waste.
According to a European Commission study, food waste in the 27 Member States of the EU has risen to 89 million tonnes (i.e. 179kg per person). By 2020, this figure is expected to have risen by a further 40% reaching 140 million tonnes. This waste includes an ever-increasing amount of foodstuffs that are still edible. However, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, by reducing post-harvest crop losses (about 14%) along with losses at distribution and consumption level, it would be possible to fulfil 3/5s of the requirements for increased cereal production needed globally by 2050.
In order to raise awareness among citizens and national governments, the Council and the European Commission have decided to act. This report recommends making the subject of food waste one of the priorities on the European policy agenda. It also suggests declaring 2013 “European Year against food waste”.
With the aim of halving food waste by 2025, this report highlights the steps to be taken to reduce it across all stages in the food chain, while keeping a close eye on the areas that will be affected – the climate and the economy to name but two.