EU States’ rejection of stronger food waste targets ‘unconscionable’

Published by Sorcha McManigan on

October 4th, 2017

EU Member States’ rejection of amendments to a proposed waste directive calling for unsold food to be redistributed to charities is “unconscionable”, a leading Irish MEP has said.

In an article last week based on leaked documents from EU waste directive discussions, the euobserver revealed that the Council of the European Union has rejected amendments from the Parliament in relation to provisions on food waste in the proposed directive.

The article states that the Council has also rejected the Parliament’s proposal that the Member States “should aim to achieve a Union-wide food waste reduction target of 30 per cent by 2025 and of 50 per cent by 2030”.

The Council’s preferred text is less specific and calls for states to “take measures to promote prevention of food waste in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development… and, in particular its target of halving food waste by 2030″.

The article states that MEPs also wanted to add a statement to ensure that Member States “provide incentives for the collection of unsold food products in food retail and food establishments and for their redistribution to charitable organisations”.

According to euobserver, an amendment calling on EU states to provide incentives for preventing food waste, such as “setting up voluntary agreements, facilitating food donation or, where appropriate, taking financial or fiscal measures” was also rejected.

Commenting on the decision, Independent MEP Nessa Childers called on the Irish Government to “speak up in support” of the Parliament’s proposals to cut food waste figure in half by 2030 and donate unsold food to charities.

One in eight people experiencing food poverty in Ireland, while we simultaneously waste 1.1 million tonnes of food. It is estimated that €700 worth of food is thrown out by each Irish household every year.

Ms Childers said that the move by MEPs to look for strong policy objections to help cut food waste in half by 2030 was “the least we should be aspiring to in the face of a massive moral, economic and environmental folly”.

“The failure from the EU Member State governments to agree on simple measures to contribute to prevent food waste, often through volunteer-led donation schemes is unconscionable,” Ms Childers added.

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Sorcha McManigan

Sorcha has a Degree Honours in Journalism with French from DIT and is passionate about social issues and radio production