The EU and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the UN have joined forces to combat global levels of food waste.
Both organisations have signed a letter of intent to halve per capita food waste by 2030, a goal established under the new Sustainable Development Goals global agenda.
The EU said that globally, one-third of all food produce for human consumption – 1.3 billion tonnes – is estimated to be lost or wasted, each year, causing ‘massive financial losses while squandering natural resources’.
In Europe alone, around 88 million tonnes of food are wasted each year, with associated costs at €143 billion, according to EU estimates.
The EU and FAO said they will aim to synchronise efforts to quantify food losses and waste at each stage of the food chain.
EU commissioner for health and food safety Vytenis Andriukaitis said: “Food loss and waste represent an unacceptable, unethical and immoral squandering of scarce resources and increase food insecurity.
“We are becoming more united, more efficient and more strategic in how we tackle these issues, and as such, this agreement should be celebrated.”
Noting that food loss and waste is linked to many aspects of sustainable development, FAO director general José Graziano da Silva cited the importance of strong partnerships like that between the FAO and the EU in addressing the problem.
According to the FAO, almost half of all fruit and vegetables go to waste as well as 35% of fish and seafood.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019