Waste – everyone’s plate is full

We have a methodology, now all we need is commitment (and creativity) above and beyond. The EU has set out ways to measure food waste and aims to support member states quantify waste levels at each stage of the supply chain.

The Delegated Act is designed to ensure coherent monitoring of waste levels to put food on a sustainable path. Why? Every year 20% of food produced in the EU is lost or wasted.

The Act follows similar patterns of carrot and stick however it allows each state to define how data collection should be carried out at a national level.

Is monitoring good for business? Yes, many would argue. The ROI is compelling, Jyrki Katainen, vice president for jobs growth, investment and competitiveness of health and food safety asserts – 14:1 return on investment for companies which integrate reduction of food loss and waste in their operations.

Food waste is certainly an issue worth tackling – and one that can be fixed. There are areas to look at from farm to fork and some in the food and drink sector are already investigating how to generate new markets and predict trends for future consumer demand.

The truth is society is more aware of waste – whether individuals or groups deem they create it or not. Questions are being asked, and a spotlight is being shone on responsibility.

Rethinking how we look at waste is now firmly on the agenda and will call for creative approaches, incentives for collaboration among processors, and the incorporation of technology to improve packaging.

Determining the best option(s) (creating high value from waste products, for example) to return industry profits will be key.

Can we turn waste into something profitable for everyone’s benefit? Yes, we can. Wasteful habits abound. When we eliminate waste and keep resources in use for as long as possible, with materials recovered and reused at the end of life then we can have our cake and eat it.

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