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EU Waste legislation: For a resource-efficient, circular economy for the European food and drink value chain


19 Jan 2017


Agriculture & Food

Brussels, 19 January 2017  In view of the upcoming vote in the European Parliament on the draft report of the revised EU Waste legislation, Europe’s food and drink manufacturers reaffirm their commitment to integrate food waste prevention and resource efficiency into their own operations and all parts of their supply chain.

FoodDrinkEurope supports an ambitious Circular Economy Package and encourages policy makers to continue promoting a resource efficient and sustainable economy. The sector is committed to maximising the use of available resources and to continuously improving waste management practices at every stage along the food supply chain.

More specifically, FoodDrinkEurope asks the Members of the European Parliament to support the following:

1. Implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on food waste and an EU food waste reduction target, aligned with the SDG target of 50% reduction by 2030, throughout the food supply chain. Europe’s food and drink manufacturers have set a midterm ambition to contribute towards implementing the UN SDGs by playing their part in halving food waste within their manufacturing operations by 2025. This ambition builds on the ‘Every Crumb Counts’ objectives and aligns with the Consumer Goods Forum Food Waste Resolution [1].

2. Development of a common EU food waste measurement methodology aligned with the global Food Loss and Waste Protocol [2] in order to make an important contribution to the global UN SDG food waste commitment. To this end, FoodDrinkEurope supports the recently set up Food Loss and Waste Platform by the European Commission, where a measurement framework will be further discussed.  

3. Establishment of a Food Waste Hierarchy: Under the umbrella of its food waste prevention campaign ‘Every Crumb Counts’, FoodDrinkEurope together with stakeholders across the food supply chain proposed a food waste hierarchy. When food is unable to stay within the human food chain and be redirected to feed people, the optimal solution will depend on a case by case evaluation.

4. A food waste definition that engages the whole food supply chain and focuses on prevention of food intended for human consumption from going to waste by maximising the value of raw materials and by allowing more materials to remain products or to be classified as by-products.

5. Facilitation and awareness raising of food donations, as a means of redistributing food surpluses, when those occur, to help people in need. The European Federation of Food Banks and FoodDrinkEurope, with the support of EuroCommerce, launched practical food donations guidelines to this end, ‘Every Meal Matters’. FoodDrinkEurope also supports the Commission’s current efforts to develop guidelines to promote a common interpretation of EU legislation, applicable to food redistribution among EU Member States.


All stakeholders across the food supply chain should continue to take measures and raise awareness about the importance of food waste prevention, encourage cross sector and sector-specific initiatives to further reduce food waste and use natural resources more efficiently.




Press contact:

Florence Ranson
Director of Communications

Phone: +32 2 5081028                                                        


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