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New guidelines to cut EU food waste

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New guidelines to cut EU food waste

Food bank - Photo Betty Longbottom

(BRUSSELS) - Guidelines to lifting barriers to food donation in the EU, just published by the Commission, clarify relevant EU legislation and are seen as a key deliverable of the EU's 'circular economy'.

The guidelines, published on World Food Day, will help donors and also recipients of surplus food make sure that they respect relevant requirements such as food hygiene and food information to consumers, ensuring safe food donation practices, says the EU executive. The guidelines will also promote common interpretation of EU rules applicable to food donation, including those related to VAT.

Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis said: "I am particularly happy that today, on the occasion of the World Food Day, we have a good news to report. In EU around 550,000 tons of food are redistributed to 6.1 million people by food banks in the EU, but that's only a fraction of the estimated volume of food which could be redistributed to prevent food waste and help fight food poverty."

Mr Andriukaitis said the new guidelines would help industry and charity organisation, by making their job easier so that they can provide to those in greatest need, and also "become a reference for national authorities and operators to facilitate food donation in the EU."

The EU guidelines were developed by the Commission in cooperation with the members of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste bringing together EU Member States, international organisations, industry, food banks and other charity organisations.

World Food Day is being marked this year as global hunger rises for the first time in over a decade, affecting 815 million people or 11 per cent of the global population. The increase is largely due to the proliferation of violent conflicts and climate-related shocks which are also major drivers of distress migration.

EU guidelines on food donation

Food Waste: European Commission website


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