EPA Press release and photo from Food Waste Charter

Monday, July 03, 2023. 12:53pm
EPA Press release and photo from Food Waste Charter
  • Approximately 800,000 tonnes of food waste is generated in Ireland each year.
  • Ireland has committed to halving food waste by 2030 under UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3.
  • Signing the Food Waste Charter is a pledge to take action to reduce food waste.
  • Membership of the Food Waste Charter is open to businesses that produce, process, manufacture, distribute or sell food and drink and to supporting organisations that commit to championing the Food Waste Charter within their areas of responsibility.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today launched a new Food Waste Charter, calling on all businesses and State Agencies operating across the food supply chain to sign up and commit to reducing food waste. Building on the success of the first charter – which launched in 2017 and focused on the grocery retail sector—this new, more ambitious Charter, expands the call to action to every organisation in Ireland’s food supply chain. 

Businesses signing up to the Food Waste Charter voluntarily commit to measure their food waste, set targets and take action to reduce food waste, and to report annually on progress.

The EPA’s Director General Laura Burke, Minister Ossian Smyth (Minister of State with responsibility for Public Procurement, eGovernment and Circular Economy), Minister Charlie McConalogue (Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine), and a number of supporting State Agencies and champion food sector businesses signed the Food Waste Charter at an event today at Farmleigh House, pledging their commitment to this Government of Ireland initiative.

Laura Burke, EPA Director General, said: “With almost 800,000 tonnes of food waste generated in Ireland annually, meeting Ireland’s commitment to halve food waste by 2030 is very challenging, and we don’t have much time. We need to work together; every business along the food supply chain and in the food services sector must play their part to reduce food waste. These businesses are called on to sign the Food Waste Charter and make a commitment to prevent food waste.”

Reducing food waste is an important climate action, with global food waste accounting for approximately 10 per cent of global GHG emissions. Food waste is also costly, and many food and drink businesses are looking at more efficient production processes and innovation to reduce and prevent food waste. By signing up and actively engaging with the Food Waste Charter, businesses will have the opportunity to support their climate action goals and reduce their costs.”

Speaking at the event, Minister Ossian Smyth, Minister of State with responsibility for Public Procurement, eGovernment and Circular Economy said: “The Government is committed to making the circular economy a reality in Ireland and tackling food waste is one of the key steps the food sector must take to help us to a more sustainable pattern of production and consumption. 

Signing up to the Food Waste Charter is a public demonstration of commitment to a collaborative and collective manner to address food waste. Wasting food that we produce and buy is not only a waste of money but a mismanagement of valuable resources in a time when we all need to make a concerted effort to protect and use our resources wisely.”

Minister Charlie McConalogue, Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine said: “We all have a role to play in reducing food waste. I call on all stakeholders in the agri-food sector to sign up to the Food Waste Charter and pledge to participate in collective efforts to reduce food waste and food loss and to help ensure there is accuracy and consistency of measurement of food waste across the food supply chain.

Food is a precious and valuable resource. Reducing food waste helps our farmers, fishers, other food producers and our processors to be more viable and resilient, will help us to achieve our climate action targets and improve the sustainability of the food sector. When we reduce our food waste we show our respect for the safe and nutritious food that our primary producers and processors work all year round to provide.”

Businesses that sign up to the Food Waste Charter commit to measure (monitor and track their food waste), reduce (identify and take at least one target-based action to reduce food waste) and report (annually on progress towards measurable outcomes and achievements) on their food waste. For more information see: The Food Waste Charter. State Agencies play a key role in supporting the food and drink sector in Ireland. Today five State Agencies (Bord Bia, Bord Iascaigh Mhara, Enterprise Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and Teagasc) pledged their commitment to the Food Waste Charter.

Further information on the Food Waste Charter and how to sign up can be found at www.foodwastecharter.ie  

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