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The Food Waste Charter: Reducing food waste across the supply chain

The Food Waste Charter: Reducing food waste across the supply chain

Ciara McDonagh writes about The Food Waste Charter, a voluntary initiative, aiming to reduce food waste across the entire food supply chain through improved monitoring, measurement, and reporting, with businesses committing to waste reduction efforts.

The Food Waste Charter is a voluntary agreement led by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to promote a collective food and drink sector commitment to reduce food waste along the entire food supply chain. Achieving this reduction requires improved monitoring, measurement and reporting across the sector.  Improved monitoring of food waste levels will highlight the costs of mismanagement of food, and in turn, identify and prompt action by business operators to reduce food waste.

By signing up to the Food Waste Charter, businesses will commit to measuring their food waste, set targets to reduce this waste and report on their activities. The reporting of food waste data in a common format, using the EPA’s national standard methodology, will be used to collectively track the progress of the Charter and support Ireland’s EU reporting requirements. There are a number of national measurement protocols available here. These serve as tools to assist businesses in fulfilling requirements on food waste measurement and reduction.

Teagasc, along with Bord Bia, Enterprise Ireland, Bord Iasciagh Mhara and Fáilte Ireland, is a supporting organisation of the Food Waste Charter. We are encouraging food businesses to sign the Charter whilst accelerating our own research and technical supporting activities in terms of reducing Food Waste. Reducing food waste is a key and immediate action in relation to Circular Food Systems in Teagasc’s Climate Action Strategy.

To learn more about the Food Waste Charter or to sign up for your business click here

Examples of Teagasc research in this area include:

EBSTAR project: Using bioprocessing and microbial fermentation to transform low-value streams from dairy processing into value-added and environmentally sustainable products

Increasing the shelf life of horticultural products in the Leaf No Waste project

Studying consumers’ food waste behaviours on the Circular Agronomics project

The IMPRESS Project funded by Horizon Europe to build zero-waste, sustainable aquatic food value chains

The ROSETTA Project funded by Horizon Europe delves into the intricate relationship between marketing standards and the disposal of perfectly edible food.

Dr Lael Walsh, Research Officer in Teagasc, and Lorraine Foley, Researcher & Lecturer at TU Dublin, tell us about their research project “Leaf No Waste” in the video below.