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First steps towards an engagement strategy and revising the current Food Loss legal framework


The FOLOU consortium collected information and produced draft reports on the Food Loss related legal framework in the EU, the region of Catalonia and Austria. This is the start of a more extensive process where information on the current policy developments for Food Losses Management in Europe will include information also for other 8 European countries (Spain, Italy, Belgium, Norway, France, Greece, Ireland and Great Britain).

Neither the EU nor its member states have specific mandatory regulations on Food Loss, that has no common and consensual definition. The region of Catalonia stands out with a regulation proposition that includes financial incentives and sanctions. The European Union has soft governance instruments such as the Farm-to-Fork Strategy and various guidance documents, such as the “Guidelines on green public procurement criteria for food, catering services and vending machines of 27.09.2019”, but all of them are voluntary, without sanctions and without financial support. The ongoing recast of the Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC should include provisions on on-farm food losses, but primary producers argue that such losses cannot be meaningfully addressed for both legal and operational reasons.

While the most appropriate definition for Food Loss in primary production is still under development, the consortium wants to make the case for a more inclusive definition compared to those available by FAO and the Catalonian government. Delimitating the main boundaries of the project framework, such as timeframe and utilisation of food crops and rearing (animals and fish), and considering which aspects should be included regardless of whether they occur on the farm or elsewhere, is currently under assessment.

Moreover, the FOLOU partners started to collect statistical data at national and sub-national level on production of the 5 commodities addressed, in order to identify which regions might be interested in benefitting from the learning of the project and preparing the engagement process for the coming period.

With the aim to build collaboration bonds for common areas of interest in addressing the food losses measurement and prevention challenge, it has been triggered an exploration process of projects and initiatives working on the same topic.