The reduction of food waste is seen as an important lever for achieving global food security, freeing up finite resources for other uses, diminishing environmental risks and avoiding financial losses. In its roadmap for a resource efficient Europe the European Commission has set the target to halve the generation of food waste by 2020. The present study deals with approaches for preventing food waste based on a thorough analysis of the scale, reasons and pattern of food wastage in EU-27. The focus is on measures and instruments that are considered in literature or in the current debate as particularly useful, easy to implement and/or that have already proven their effectiveness in practice. This includes among others the improvement and harmonization of the data basis, the setting of reduction targets on national and regional level, the revision of existing regulations on food date labelling, the enforcement of awareness campaigns, the introduction of economic incentives, the improvement of workflows as well as the implementation of an integrated supply chain management in the manufacturing and wholesale/retail sector including technological innovations which are likely to reduce food waste.
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