The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has decried the EU on its failures to tackle food waste across the continent.
Attacking the union, the ECA has stated that it has simply not combatted food waste effectively, despite plans to vote on new regulations set to take place on 24 January.
Should the vote be approved, the regulations will be the most ambitious and legally binding targets for food waste in the world, and will shape the next 15 years of policy.
The report, released this week, attacks what it calls a “total lack of organisation and communication” between the European Union and the European Commission.
Currently both entities adhere to separate procedures and policies, though an alignment between them would produce an effective impact in regards to food waste and recycling.
Above all the report says that no common parameter has been concluded for what is determined to be considered “food waste”, something that has severely hampered communication between different bodies.
Bettina Jakobsen, an ECA member, said that “the commission is not combating the food waste effectively” and noted a lack of strategy and inspiration to bring about an effective means to tackle the problem:
“Our report to the Commission identified a number of missed opportunities and potential improvements which would not require new legislative initiatives or more public money.
“But by focusing its efforts on establishing a platform, the Commission again misses an opportunity to deal effectively with the problem. What we need now is better alignment of existing policies, better co-ordination and a clear policy objective to reduce food waste.
“Our recommendations on how to develop future policy have either been ignored or only partially accepted, while the draft guidelines just pass the problem on to member states.”
The auditors recommend:
- A strengthening of EU strategy to combat waste, and to co-ordinate better, with an action plan for future years
- Consider food waste in future assessments and align different policies to combat food waste
- Resolve legal obstacles in regards to food donation
Currently, 88 million tonnes of food is wasted in the EU each year, despite 55 million people living in food poverty across the union.
A petition has also been set up to cut Europe’s food waste in half.