Joint Food Wastage Declaration
We, the co-signers, commit to the objective of reducing food wastage throughout the food chain and to contributing to halving EU edible food waste by 2020. We call on all stakeholders involved in the food chain from farm to fork and beyond to take further action to prevent and reduce edible food wastage on a European and global scale.
While hunger is the world’s number one health risk, about one third of food for human consumption is lost or wasted globally each year. In addition, when food is wasted all of the resources that were put into its production are lost. Not only are these increasingly scarce resources, such as water and fuel, lost, but greenhouse gas emissions are also associated with the disposal of food. Therefore, food wastage represents a missed opportunity to feed the growing world population, a major waste of resources and a needless source of greenhouse gas emissions that impacts climate change. It also has negative economic consequences for everyone along the food chain when food goes to waste.
This declaration focuses on food wastage, which is the decrease in edible food mass that was originally intended for human consumption, in line with the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (FAO) definition. Food wastage includes both food losses, which occur at the production, post-harvest and processing stages, and food waste, which arises at the retail and consumption stages. We speak of “food wastage” to clearly distinguish the concept from waste, which is defined in the EU’s Waste Framework Directive, and to emphasize the need for a supply chain approach.
Inedible crop residues, inedible animal parts and by-products, as defined in Article 5 of the Waste Framework Directive, are not considered food wastage, nor are food products that are sent for redistribution but stay within the human food chain. This declaration takes into consideration that what is ‘inedible’ is culturally determined in some cases. In accordance with the European Economic and Social Committee’s Opinion, the classification of what is inedible or unusable should remain flexible because as knowledge and technology advance, items that are currently considered inedible or unusable as by-products could become edible or usable.
By adopting this declaration, we wish to set a benchmark in the global fight against food wastage. We do this because it is crucial for the long-term sustainability of the food chain. In doing so, we will contribute towards the EU’s goal of achieving a resource efficient economy and a sustainable food chain. This declaration explores how new markets and better food recovery can contribute to economic growth. We also support the many global, European, national and individual voluntary efforts to reduce food wastage.
 10 Things You Need To Know About Hunger, World Food Programme 2013.
 Global Food Losses and Food Waste, Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology, commissioned by FAO 2012.
 Food mass that was not originally intended for human consumption is therefore not considered food wastage
 Idem 2
 includes (inedible) residues from production
 Civil society’s contribution to a strategy for prevention and reduction of food losses and food waste, European Economic and Social Committee, 20 March 2013.
 as outlined in the EC Resource Efficiency Roadmap
 to be further discussed in the forthcoming European Commission Sustainable Food Communication
 Relevant to the on-going review of EU waste legislation, national Waste Prevention Programmes, Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation and the strategy and action plan on Innovating for Sustainable Growth: a Bio-economy for Europe
 European Parliament’s Written declaration on food waste and Resolution on Avoiding food waste: how to improve the efficiency of the food chain in the EU, European Commission’s funding of research to measure food waste, dissemination of information and good practices database
 UK “Love Food Hate Waste” campaign, Dutch working group on Food Waste, France’s food waste action plan, Irish draft Household Food Waste Collection Regulation, Spanish food waste initiative, Swedish National Waste Prevention Program which makes food waste a key topic, Norwegian ForMat food waste reduction project, and initiatives in Belgium