Although a number of EU policies have the potential to combat food waste, their potential is not being exploited, according to a new report from the European Court of Auditors.
Current estimates indicate that, globally, around one third of the food produced for human consumption is wasted or lost.
In their report, the auditors examined EU action taken so far to reduce food waste and how the various policy instruments work. They found that the EU had not contributed to a resource-efficient food supply chain by combating food waste effectively.
The latest EU proposal for dealing with food waste, the creation of a platform, does not fully address the problems raised in their report, say the auditors.
Progress to date has been hampered by the lack of a common definition of “food waste”, and the lack of an agreed baseline from which to target reductions. This is despite repeated calls from the European Parliament, the Council, the Committee of the Regions, the G20 and others for the EU to help reduce food waste.
“Our report to the Commission identified a number of missed opportunities and potential improvements which would not require new legislative initiatives or more public money”, said Bettina Jakobsen, the member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the report.
“But by focusing its efforts on establishing a platform, the Commission again misses an opportunity to deal effectively with the problem. What we need now is better alignment of existing policies, better coordination, and a clear policy objective to reduce food waste.”