Finland and other EU countries are committed to halving food losses by 2030 in households, restaurants and shops and to reducing the amount of food waste in all parts of the food system.

Starting at the beginning of 2020, the Member States of the European Union will have to report their food waste to the European Commission.

According to Finland’s statement, “food and nutrition security and the environmental and economic aspects of food production mean we must prevent and reduce food waste. Our food system can only be sustainable if we are able to minimize food losses.”

“In the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, we have made a commitment to act resolutely in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2010–2016, food losses accounted for almost 10 percent of greenhouse gas emissions,” says Jaana Husu-Kallio, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.

Up to now, statistics on waste have not provided sufficient tools for monitoring the number of edible food losses or food waste, but recently, a number of complementary data collection methods—many developed in Finland—have become available to ensure that the data on food waste and losses is reliable and annually comparable.

The tools have been tailored separately for each stage of the food chain. For example, household losses will be monitored and evaluated in Finland in the future using a landfill survey, a questionnaire and a diary survey.

Time’s up for food waste conference was held in Brussels, Belgium on December 12 where the European Commission published its recommendations on reducing food losses and food waste. The event was part of the official program of Finland’s presidency of the Council of the European Union.