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FUSIONS: Fighting Food Waste
Food Use for Social Innovation by Optimising Waste Prevention Strategies
Food waste is an issue of importance to global food security and good environmental governance, directly linked with all aspects of sustainability (e.g. availability of resources, increasing costs and health).
The amount of food waste produced but not consumed leads to negative impacts on businesses and consumers. Around the world, more and more organisations are convinced that reducing food waste throughout the food supply chain is a key mechanism by which we can create a sustainable food system, and bring economic benefits to the food industry and consumers. A healthy, sustainable and resource efficient food system is a major priority for the European Commission in the coming years.
- 88 million tonnes of food are wasted annually in the EU.
- Wasting food costs nearly 143 billions € for the EU per year.
- Current food waste for EU in 2011 is estimated at least 227 MT of CO2 equivalents (Global Warming Potential).
Working together to reduce food waste across Europe
FUSIONS (Food Use for Social Innovation by Optimising Waste Prevention Strategies) brings together 21 partners from 13 countries to work towards achieving a more resource-efficient Europe by significantly reducing food waste. The project runs from August 2012 to July 2016 and contributed towards:
Harmonising the current definition of food waste within the EU-28
Available scientific publications on the topic demonstrate a tendency from researchers and policy-makers to use and define food waste differently having thus an impact on the way policies are shaped and on the way food waste is quantified across the different sectors of the food supply chain.
FUSIONS partners harmonised all the existing food waste definitions within EU-28 and proposed one Definitional Framework. According to FUSIONS, “Food waste is any food, and inedible parts of food, removed from the food supply chain to be recovered or disposed”.
Developing tools to harmonize food waste quantification
Measuring food waste accurately would help reducing food waste by raising enabling companies to increase their accountability on this topic and policy makers to shape well-tailored public policies to tackle the issue.
FUSIONS aims to provide companies and policy makers with a Food Waste Quantification Manual, in order to guide them with the quantification of food waste at different steps of the supply chain. The Manual can also be used as a reference by researchers collecting data on behalf of national authorities as well as national statistical offices.
Estimating data on food waste in EU-28
There is an urgent need for more consistent and comparable data in order to decrease the uncertainties and making it possible to better understand the magnitude of the problem, and the scale of the potential opportunities.
According to the European project FUSIONS, EU-28 produces about 88 million tonnes of food waste per year, amounting to an estimated 143 billion euros. The research shows that many EU Members States lack robust data on the amounts of food waste generated creating a relatively high uncertainty of the EU food waste estimates.
Food waste Quantification Manual to monitor food waste amounts and progression
Within the framework of FUSIONS, Deloitte Sustainability led the elaboration of a Food Waste Quantification Manual which aims to facilitate reliable food waste data and reporting in EU-28. The Manual includes practical guidelines which Member State authorities can apply to standardise quantification approaches at each stage of the food supply chain.
- Assist EU Member States in monitoring food waste amounts at the national level in the primary production, processing, manufacturing, wholesale, retail and household sectors;
- Support EU Member States in tracking progress in food waste reduction over time and facilitates data sharing across Europe;
- Provide optional recommendations on how to report the results of a National Food Waste Quantification Study.
More info on FUSIONS
170 European stakeholders across the food supply chain have pledged their commitment to reducing food waste as FUSIONS Platform Members.
Deloitte Sustainability is part of the core management team composed of WRAP (Great Britain), University of Bologna (Italy) and SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden (Sweden) and coordinated by Wageningen UR (Netherlands).