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27 July 2012

10 tips from the EU Commission to limit food waste

Help and advice for consumers in Europe

Food waste: some facts

Food is wasted before, during or after meal preparation in the households and is discarded during production, manufacturing, distribution, retail and catering.

  • About 90 million tonnes of food is wasted annually or 180 kg per capita per year in Europe, excluding agricultural food waste and fish discards.
  • About a third of the food for human consumption is wasted globally – around 1.3 billion tons per year, according to FAO;
  • Food waste in industrialized countries is as high as in developing countries:
    • In developing countries, over 40% of food losses happen after harvest and during processing;
    • In industrialised countries, over 40% occurs at retail and consumer level.

A sustainable food chain: why it matters

Improving the sustainability of the food chain is essential in tackling climate change, resource scarcity and global food security.

Food production and consumption generate:

  • 20-30% of all EU environmental impacts;
  • 17% of direct greenhouse gas emissions;
  • 28% of material resource use in the EU;
  • Other environmental impacts related to energy use, land use, water use, biodiversity loss and waste production.

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