Labour MEPs recognise the importance of reducing food waste and have already voted for measures to halve food waste by 2030, along with a clear definition of food waste and a food waste hierarchy. On 14 March 2017 we voted to strengthen these measures further by voting for the following amendments in the Bonafè report on the Waste Framework Directive:
- Amendment 236: Establishing a binding target by 2020 to halve food waste once reliable and comparable data is available so that national governments are forced to take real action to reduce food waste;
- Amendment 235: A better definition of food waste that includes edible food wasted at primary production level and produce left un-harvested or discarded post-harvest;
- Amendment 98: A requirement for the European Commission to establish a common methodology for all member states to measure food waste by the end of 2017 to ensure that setting a binding food waste reduction target is both feasible and achievable.
Although we were pleased to see both amendments 236 and 98 pass, unfortunately amendment 235 fell due to opposition from right-wing groups in the Parliament.
To become law this legislation will need to be agreed by both the European Parliament and representatives of national governments, including the British government, in the Council of Ministers. The successful amendments will now form part of the European Parliament’s position as it goes into negotiations to agree the final legislation.
Reducing food waste is a top priority for the Labour party, an aim which will be key to delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) commitments and promoting an ambitious circular economy in Europe.