A new study has quantified the economic impact of reducing avoidable food waste in Germany, Poland and Spain. The researchers modelled impacts on production, GDP and employment. The results show that reducing food waste from households has the greatest impact, although policy measures should be tailored to individual EU Member States.
A third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted, and the EU alone wastes an estimated 88 billion tonnes of food every single year. This is equivalent to 76 kilograms per person per year. This is an unsustainable level of waste which threatens food supply and the environment. The EU is taking several actions against food waste, as a critical part of efforts to achieve a circular economy, where resources are used more sustainably.
In order to achieve policy change on food waste, it is important to understand both the monetary value of food waste and its social and environmental impacts. While most previous studies have assessed the amount of food wasted by households, this study evaluated the impact of food waste on national economies.