Waste no more! EU sets new Food Waste targets

The first EU-wide monitoring of EU food waste published in October 2022, showed that food services, including hospitality, were responsible for 9% of the total EU food waste in 2020, while consumers in households accounted for 53%.

On 5 July, the European Commission published a proposal to introduce EU food waste reduction targets to reach by 2030. The Commission’s proposal sets a new target to reduce food waste from retail and food services – including restaurants and households – by 30% by 2030, based on 2020 levels.

HOTREC and its industry have long been acting on this issue at the European, national and local levels. While agreeing that tackling food waste at each step of the agri-food chain is essential and supporting the Commission’s intention, we also believe that basing the targets on the year 2020 – COVID-19 year – could be misleading. Such an approach could potentially undermine efforts from businesses that have already taken steps towards food waste reduction using a different baseline.

Furthermore, merging both retail and food services with households in the same target category could expose us to a potential dilution of the targets.

HOTREC calls for effective and proportionate food waste prevention strategies at the national level considering the impact on SMEs and micro enterprises in hospitality. Establishing different actions depending on the actor involved will be crucial.

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