LORDS

The EU's contribution to food waste prevention

The House of Lords EU Agriculture, Fisheries, Environment and Energy Sub-Committee conducted an inquiry into the EU's contribution to food waste prevention. The report, ‘Counting the Cost of Food Waste: EU Food Waste Prevention’, was published on 6 April 2014 and debated on 6 November 2014.

The Committee sought to identify the scale of the issue and potential actions that might be taken by the EU to support further action.

Specific issues addressed by the Committee during its inquiry included:

  • The scale of food waste at a national, EU and global level;
  • The resource implications of food waste;
  • The challenge of defining and monitoring food waste;
  • The setting of aspirational rather than binding targets;
  • Opportunities for consumers to contribute to food waste reduction; 
  • The importance of cooperation through the supply chain, so that retailers work with producers and consumers to reduce food waste throughout the supply chain;
  • The need for the European Commission to assess whether there are any aspects of EU regulations that impede food waste prevention, including marketing standards for fruit and vegetables, packaging restrictions, animal feed provisions and date labelling;
  • The food waste reduction benefits that can be derived from more effective use of EU agricultural funding;
  • The creation of a “food use hierarchy” that prioritises consumption of food by humans and ensures that economic incentives are aligned with that hierarchy; and
  • The important strategic role to be played by the EU.

For further information about this inquiry, please contact us.

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    Glossary

    • Reports and associated evidence - reports and evidence featuring written submissions and corrected oral evidence published at the conclusion of Committee inquiries. Evidence is periodically updated over the course of an inquiry and is not finalised until the relevant Report is published.
    • Uncorrected oral evidence - transcripts of oral evidence not yet approved by the Committee or witnesses.
    • Other oral evidence - corrected transcripts of oral evidence, usually taken for scrutiny purposes or for ad hoc/regular evidence sessions with Ministers.
    • Evidence - written submissions and corrected oral evidence published for scrutiny purposes or for ad hoc/regular evidence sessions with Ministers.
    • Responses to Reports - Government Department and European Commission responses to reports.
    • Call for Evidence - request to submit evidence to a Committee inquiry.
    • Correspondence - correspondence received and sent by the Committee excluding ministerial correspondence.
    • Correspondence with Ministers - Ministerial correspondence received and sent by the Committee.
    • Progress of Scrutiny - records the decisions taken by the EU Committee on European documents that have been deposited in Parliament for scrutiny.

Members Interests

Members' interests in relation to this inquiry

The Members of the EU Agriculture, Fisheries, Environment and Energy Sub-Committee have declared the following interests in relation to this inquiry:

Members are required to register any financial and non-financial interests that a reasonable member of the public might think would influence their actions in Parliament. The full text of the Register is available online: