Ireland is getting serious about tackling Food Waste

Date released: Mar 08 2017, 11:00 AM

The EPA is hosting its second Forum on Food Waste on 9th March 2017.  The Forum will be addressed by Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, T.D., who has signalled that Food Waste is a priority issue.  At the Forum, the Minister will announce the formation of an Action Group to examine solutions to food wastage from a retail point of view.  He will also launch a national Charter on Food Waste.

In 2015, Ireland along with almost 200 other countries, committed to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. These goals include a specific commitment on food waste: “By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses.”

Food Waste can occur at any point along the food chain, from losses in production, processing and retail operations through to our own kitchens.  The Forum brings together representatives from across the food chain to highlight good work already happening in the area, and to identify other actions that need to be initiated.

Speaking before the event, EPA Director General, Laura Burke said,

“The EPA is fully committed to providing leadership and support towards reducing food waste. This includes our ongoing work through the well-regarded campaign. This programme can help householders to save up to €1,000 per year through simple actions to reduce food wastage – our estimates show for example that Irish householders throw away up to 50 per cent of salads and 20 per cent of bread.”

Laura Burke continued,

“Ireland has the potential to be a world leader in tackling food waste - benefitting the environment and aligning with our ambitions to become the Green Food Island.  This requires new and innovative solutions to reducing food waste.  Many groups are already making significant strides to minimise food waste.  We need to build on this work and mobilise businesses and individuals to undertake significant changes in food production and consumption.  Through transforming our approach, we can increase efficiencies and maximise the associated social and environmental benefits to deliver a win-win scenario for all involved.”

Eulàlia Reverté i Casas, of the European Court of Auditors said,

“A recent report from the European Court of Auditors highlights that food waste is a global problem and as such it requires action at all levels. The report calls for a more co-ordinated and consistent EU approach to combating food waste including the agreement of a common definition for food waste and a baseline from which to set meaningful and measurable targets for reducing food waste”.

Notes to Editor:

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The Charter on Food Waste declares the significance of food waste as a pressing environmental and social issue, and commits signatories to taking a strong approach to preventing food waste – including a direct commitment to implement at least one food prevention action within the first year of signing up. It is expected that signatories to the Charter will come from across the production, processing and retail sectors along with householders and community groups.

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