Food: Europe’s mountain of leftovers
20 January 2012
In Europe, almost 50% of edible and healthy food “gets wasted during the different processing phases from production to the consumer’s table”, writes El País. This represents on average “half a kilo per person per day but with major variations according to country and sector”, adds the Madrid daily, quoting a European Commission report on food waste discussed on January 19 in the European Parliament.
This may serve as a “loud wake up call”, writes El País. Annually, Europeans waste
... 179 edible and healthy kilograms of food each [...] the major portion of which is household related, at 42% (of which 60% is apparently avoidable). Producers follow close behind on 39%; catering sector 14%; and lower down the scale, distributors at 5%.
Taking into account that 16 million Europeans receive aid from charity organisations, the report asks to-
... redistribute leftover food to poorer people which would end up as refuse.
The report drafted by Italian socialist MEP Salvatore Caronna calls on the Commission to promote measures to reduce waste, such as the double date labelling [sale date limit and latest possible consumption] and with discounts on food products damaged or close to the expiry date.