House of Lords Committee report on EU contribution to food waste prevention


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House of Lords EU Sub-Committee D – Agriculture, Fisheries, Environment and Energy

The House of Lords EU Agriculture, Fisheries, Environment and Energy Sub-Committee conducted an inquiry into the EU’s contribution to food waste prevention. The report, ‘Counting the Cost of Food Waste: EU Food Waste Prevention’, was published on 6 April 2014. You can read the report here.

The Committee sought to identify the scale of the issue and potential actions that might be taken by the EU to support further action.

Specific issues addressed by the Committee during its inquiry included:

  • The scale of food waste at a national, EU and global level;
  • The resource implications of food waste;
  • The challenge of defining and monitoring food waste;
  • The setting of aspirational rather than binding targets;
  • Opportunities for consumers to contribute to food waste reduction;
  • The importance of cooperation through the supply chain, so that retailers work with producers and consumers to reduce food waste throughout the supply chain;
  • The need for the European Commission to assess whether there are any aspects of EU regulations that impede food waste prevention, including marketing standards for fruit and vegetables, packaging restrictions, animal feed provisions and date labelling;
  • The food waste reduction benefits that can be derived from more effective use of EU agricultural funding;
  • The creation of a “food use hierarchy” that prioritises consumption of food by humans and ensures that economic incentives are aligned with that hierarchy; and
  • The important strategic role to be played by the EU.