European Commission Adopts Food Waste Measurement Methodology

Methodology confirms former foodstuff processing can be part of national food waste prevention action plans

On 6 May 2019 the European Commission adopted the common methodology for the uniform measurement of food waste across the EU. The development of the food waste measurement methodology stems from the revised Waste Framework Directive[1], which lays down an obligation for Member States to annually submit the measured levels of food waste to the Commission. Substances destined for use as feed materials, including former foodstuffs, are excluded from the scope of obligatory food waste measurement. For better understanding of the material flows related to food and the planning of targeted food waste prevention policies, Member States have the possibility to report information of the feed use of former foodstuffs on a voluntary basis.

EFFPA President Paul Featherstone: “It was already clear that former foodstuff processing was part of the solution when it comes to preventing food waste. This obligation for Member States to report on food waste statistics and implement national food waste prevention action plans should provide an incentive to operators at food manufacturing and retail level to consider engaging with former foodstuff processors as well as reconsider the referral of feed-eligible foodstuffs to bioenergy, which would clearly count as food waste.”

At the 6th EU Food Waste & Food Losses Platform, the European Commission made clear that in the ambition to prevent food waste increased risk as regards food and feed safety is not acceptable. Following a question on the challenges the EU has faced in the past over safe animal feed and how to ensure the same mistakes are not made again as African Swine Fever is encroaching, European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen said: “The EU is a Super Power of food safety and animal health. Our citizens expect no less and this must always be maintained”.

[1] Waste Framework Directive (EU) 2018/851