EU adopts common methodology to measure food waste

10 May 2019

The European Commission has adopted a Delegated Act laying down a common food waste measurement methodology to support Member States in quantifying food waste at each stage of the food supply chain. 

Based on a common definition of food waste, the methodology will ensure coherent monitoring of food waste levels across the EU.

New waste legislation was adopted in May 2018 as part of the Circular Economy Action Plan. It requires member states to implement national food waste prevention programmes to reduce food waste at each stage of the supply chain, and to monitor and report on food waste levels.

The EU's action plan to fight food waste aims to help achieve the global Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.3 to halve per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level by 2030, and reduce food losses along the food production and supply chain.

The Delegated Act defines provides flexibility as to how data collection should be carried out at national level. Member states are expected to put in place a monitoring framework with 2020 in order to provide the first new data on food waste levels to the Commission by mid-2022.

UK Food Waste policy

England’s first Food Surplus and Waste Champion was appointed in December 2018 to drive forward the government’s plans to cut food waste. The first round of a £15 million scheme to reduce business food waste was awarded in May 2019. 

Last month the Scottish government and Zero Waste Scotland unveiled a new Food Waste Reduction Action Plan to help reduce Scotland’s food waste by one third by 2025.

In 2017 Wales consulted on a plan to have food waste by 2025.

Northern Ireland’s Waste Prevention Programme considers food waste a core priority.


Leon Ballin
Sustainable Food Cities

Sustainable Food Cities is a partnership programme run by

Soil Association

Food Matters

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation
Sustainable Food Cities is funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation 

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