What a circular economy approach means for the food & drink sector

This past December, the European Commission published the Circular Economy package, a welcome move since the food and drink industry has been supported the Commission to continue promoting a resource-efficient and sustainable economy. Europe’s food and drink industry is committed to maximising the use of available resources and to continuously improving waste management practices at every stage along the food supply chain, whilst at the same time continuing to ensure food safety.

It is encouraging to see that measures to reduce food waste are an important element of the Circular Economy package. The Commission has recommended Member States to take steps to reduce food waste across the whole supply chain from farm to fork and to assess and report progress according to a set of common methodologies, a particularly welcome initiative. This approach can also make an important contribution to the global food waste commitment under the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

With European Environment Ministers due to adopt conclusions on the non-legislative circular economy action plan in June [1], Europe’s food and drink manufacturers will continue working together with the European institutions and other stakeholders with the aim to further step up the efforts to improve resource efficiency, and therefore to progress towards a true circular economy.

[1] According to a draft meeting schedule from the Dutch Presidency of the Council of the EU