Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia (REU)

Ministerial proposal against food waste

From the Press Office of the Ministry of Rural Development, Hungary

H.E. Sandor Fazekas, Minister for Rural Development, HungaryHungary’s call to reduce food losses and waste has been broadly supported by the Member States of the European Union. At the European Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting 14 countries immediately joined the initiative proposed by Sándor Fazekas Minister for Rural Development, and they confirmed their support for the Hungarian request.
The initiative was necessary, because one third of the food destined for human consumption is lost or wasted according to the estimates of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO). If we consider this fact in the context of poverty and hunger, scarcity of natural resources, financial constraints in a protracted economical and financial crisis, it becomes clear that this issue has to be urgently addressed on global, EU and at national level as well.
Remarkable initiatives have been launched recently in this field, for example by FAO and UNEP. Also we are aware of several successful national programs across Europe, but instead of having isolated good practices, there is a need for sharing experience and taking joint action also on EU level.
This is why Sándor Fazekas initiated an EU-wide debate on food loss and waste at the Council of Agricultural Minsters. Hungary requested the European Commission to elaborate plans for future co-operations with the relevant international organisations and other stakeholders, so that we have a clear picture of the global situation and tackle it by means of adequate measures which serve the interest of all. The Hungarian request was supported by several ministers, therefore it is expected, that the Commission will intensively deal with the issue in the coming months.
In order to reduce food waste one of the most important is to harmonize the methodology for addressing the issue and sharing best practices in this field. It is also essential to support conscious food consumption, to develop a short food chain, and to raise awareness in the society for the appreciation of food.

If the Commission considers necessary to propose a new EU legislation, we are ready for further discussions on this matter.

Budapest, Hungary, 25 July 2013

The original Hungarian language Press Release is published at: