Common methodology for monitoring food waste in the EU

A person cuts cabbage with a knife.

The European Commission has decided to introduce a common methodology to measure food waste in the EU.

Around 20% of food produced in the EU is lost or wasted annually - with negative impacts on society, the environment and industry. To make the food system more sustainable, food waste in the EU needs to be reduced. But currently there is a lack of data documenting food waste in the various EU member states. To address this issue, the European Commission has decided to introduce standardised methods for monitoring food waste. This harmonised approach is expected to produce data about food waste on all levels of the supply chain.

Closing knowledge gap to act decisively

The methodology makes it possible to monitor food waste cohesively in the entire EU and establish where food is lost and why it is no longer available for human consumption. Closing this knowledge gap is necessary to reduce food waste in each member state. Countries can each introduce their own monitoring framework and will report back to the EU in 2020 for the first time. By 2022, the European Commission expects to have the necessary data at its disposal.