On the occasion of the third International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste, the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, made the following statement:
“Our food system is under great pressure. We are dealing at the same time with the negative effects of climate change, environmental degradation, economic shocks and violent conflicts, which are endangering food security for millions of people around the world.
Against this backdrop, it is unacceptable that 20% of all food we produce in the EU is lost or wasted. Today is a reminder for all of us that we need to take bolder action against food losses and waste.
In the EU, we are already taking decisive actions to address global food security through international cooperation, supporting the establishment of sustainable and resilient food systems through our investments in partner countries. We are also mobilising humanitarian aid and support to those most affected by the crisis, in cooperation with our Member States.
While food availability is not currently at stake in the EU, food affordability is becoming a growing concern for many households. Today, over 36 million people in the EU cannot afford a healthy meal every other day. If we are to achieve a sustainable food system and enhance food security, we need to make the most of our food and the resources that go into producing it.
The EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy gives us a clear direction to drive food losses and waste out of our food system. We are now in the process of preparing the first ever EU legislation to set binding food waste reduction targets. With this we will intensify food waste prevention actions on the ground and scale-up the EU’s contribution to the global target of halving food waste by 2030. We will also propose, by the end of the year, new rules on date marking to help consumers and avoid unnecessary food waste linked to misunderstanding of ‘use by’ and ‘best before’ dates.
We will also continue to integrate food loss and waste prevention in other EU policies and scale-up action across the EU, mobilising Member States, food businesses and civil society, notably through the work of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste.
Through Horizon Europe, the Commission is investing in research and innovation to support all players in accelerating the transition to sustainable, healthy and inclusive food systems including identification of solutions to prevent and reduce food losses and food waste.
We are not alone in our mission – the European Commission has joined international efforts as part of the global ‘Food is never waste’ coalition, in a process to transform the way the world produces, consumes, and thinks about food – as a crucial step in our progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
Today, we are united with other public and private sector organisations across the globe in a common call to action against food loss and waste.
Let’s stop food waste, for people and for our planet!”
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