SAVE FOOD: Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction

The Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction collaborates with the EU Committee of Regions for regional and local policy development

18 Jul 2016

In June 2016 the Committee of Regions (CoR) issued an Opinion on food waste. The Opinion has as Rapporteur Ossi Martikainen, local councillor of Lapinlahti (Finland) and member of the CoR.

The FAO Nutrition and Food Systems Division (ESN) and FAO Liaison office in Brussels have contributed to the Opinion of the Committee of the Regions on food wastewith knowledge transfer for coherent policy development also in view of achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12.3: “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”. 


CoR is one of the consultative bodies of the European Union. It was created in 1994 as the assembly of regional and local representatives. Its members are directly elected by citizens. CoR intervenes at several stages in the EU law-making process and must be consulted by the European Commission in the process of adopting new legislation.

CoR Commission for Natural Resources (NAT) has identified food waste as one of its priorities for the coming years, given the key role that local and regional actors play regarding, for instance, consumer behaviour, management of school canteens, monitoring of food waste data, disposal of waste, and professional training. Local and regional actors are central to subsidiarity. The principle of subsidiarity is defined in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union and aims to ensure that decisions are taken as closely as possible to the citizen and that constant checks are made to verify that action at EU level is justified in light of the possibilities available at national, regional or local level.

On 1 March 2016 the Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction participated in the CoR round table discussion on food waste that contributed to the drafting of the Opinion on food waste.

The Initiative provides the definition of Recovery and redistribution of safe and nutritious food for human consumption and a resource catalogue at National and local level.

Recovery of safe and nutritious food for human consumption is to receive, with or without payment, food (processed, semi-processed or raw) which would otherwise be discarded or wasted from the agricultural, livestock, forestry and fisheries supply chains of the food system. Redistribution of safe and nutritious food for human consumption is to store or process and then distribute the received food pursuant to appropriate safety, quality and regulatory frameworks directly or through intermediaries, and with or without payment, to those having access to it for food intake. (FAO, 2015)


Opinion, Food Waste. 118th plenary session, 15 and 16 June 2016. EU Committee of Regions

Policy debate on food waste – European Committee of the Regions (CoR), 1 March 2016, Brussels, Belgium