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Estimates of European food waste levels. Project report FUSIONS

Abstract : Food waste is an issue of importance to global food security and good environmental governance, directly linked with environmental (e.g. energy, climate change, water, availability of resources), economic (e.g. resource efficiency, price volatility, increasing costs, consumption, waste management, commodity markets) and social (e.g. health, equality) impacts. Different studies show that between 1/3 and 1/2 of the world food production is not consumed (Gustavsson et al, 2011; Bio Intelligence study, 2010), leading to negative impacts throughout the food supply chain including households. There is a pressing need to prevent and reduce food waste to make the transition to a resource efficient Europe. However, the data behind these figures comes from different sources, which use a variety of definitions for what is considered ‘food waste’. In addition, different studies use different methods, which can affect the resultant estimates. The task described in this report is thus to obtain an EU-28 estimate for food waste, which aligns as closely as possible to the new FUSIONS definitional framework (Östergren et al, 2014) and uses data from robust and comparable methodologies. Data which was judged to be not sufficiently robust or containing other uncertainties was available from some countries and this data was excluded from this study. However the data might be useful for other purposes. The report presents estimates for food waste arisings in the EU-28. Estimates of food waste were sought for 2013. However, in most cases such recent information was not available and most estimates were for 2012 or earlier. Therefore, the estimates produced are most closely aligned to 2012. In some cases newer information has been used as well. It is clear that the data presented in this study have a relatively high uncertainty due to the limited number of underlying studies of sufficient quality available. However it should be acknowledged that this is the first attempt to do something like this i.e. building on existing data, adjusting that to a common definition and then finding valid ways of upscaling and producing a EU-28 data set for food waste. Data can and will always be improved.
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  • HAL Id : hal-02801611, version 1
  • PRODINRA : 359341

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Carl Jensen, Tom Quested, Graham Moates, Michael Buksti, Balázs Cseh, et al.. Estimates of European food waste levels. Project report FUSIONS. [Contract] 31032016, 2016. ⟨hal-02801611⟩

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