EU wastes much more food than it imports, even amid cost of living crisis: Report

The EU wastes more food than it imports and could stop the rise in food prices by merely reducing on-farm waste, as per a report.

According to the study’s estimations, the EU fritters away some 153 million tonnes of food annually, which is double earlier projections and 15 million tonnes more than is imported. 

According to the report, the amount of wheat wasted in the EU alone is equivalent to one-fourth of the EU’s other grain exports and almost half of Ukraine’s wheat exports.

“It’s a scandal that the EU is potentially throwing away more food than it is importing at a time of high food prices and a cost of living crisis,” said Frank Mechielsen, director of Feedback EU, the organisation that conducted the study. In order to combat climate change and enhance food security, the EU now has a significant chance to adopt legally enforceable goals to reduce its food waste from farm to fork by half by 2030. 

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the war in Ukraine contributed to the increase in global food prices last month, which were per cent higher than they were a year earlier. 

Prices for wheat, maize, and soybeans have even surpassed peaks established at the height of the global financial crisis in 2008.

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The world’s first set of legally enforced goals to reduce food waste is scheduled to be presented by Brussels later this year. Feedback EU’s request for a 50% reduction in waste by 2030 has the support of 43 green non-profits. 

Senior policy officer for the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Piotr Barczak, stated, “All EU countries had committed to halve food waste within the United Nations’ sustainable development goals. However, almost 10 years later, they have not achieved much, and our economies still generate incredibly high amounts of food waste.” 

The EEB calls for enacting laws to reduce waste throughout the entire food supply chain, including in food production, processing, and services.

(with inputs from agencies)


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