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No Time to Waste: Why the EU needs to adopt ambitious legally binding food waste reduction targets

19 September 2022

Summary

Seven years ago, the European Commission signed up to Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3 to halve food waste by 2030, but the EU is nowhere near on track to meet this goal. The European Parliament called for the EU to set targets to halve food waste in 2012, and again for them to introduce legally binding 50% farm-to-fork targets in 2017. In recognition of its commitment to SDG 12.3 and the accelerating impacts of the climate crisis, momentum to reduce food waste in the EU is building. In 2018, the European Commission adopted the amended Waste Framework Directive (WFD), which binds EU member states to begin measuring and reporting their food waste from 2020 onwards. The Commission is currently developing proposals for legally binding food waste targets for EU member states, including critical decisions about their ambition (with options ranging from 20% to 50% by 2030) and their scope (retail and consumer level only, or from farm to fork). This presents a remarkable opportunity for the EU to act decisively and ambitiously on food waste, particularly at a time when the global food system is revealing its fragility. This report urges the European Commission to set a legally binding target of a 50%, farm-to-fork reduction in food waste by 2030. .

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food food systems food waste eu

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