Wasting food is a global issue that creates significant environmental, economic, social and ethical problems. Ireland, along with almost 200 other countries, has committed to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including:
“By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses.”
Reducing food waste has positive social and environmental impacts. Furthermore, improving efficiencies in production and consumption leads to economic benefits throughout the food chain.
The Food Waste Charter for Ireland was introduced in response to the country’s commitment to achieve a 50% reduction in food waste by 2030. The Charter, introduced at the Forum on Food Waste in March 2017, was signed into effect by The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment and the Director General of the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Charter aims to provide a collective commitment for people, businesses and communities. This commitment involves implementing at least one food waste prevention action within the first year of signing up, and putting measures in place to carry out future actions by 2020.
No one section of the food system can reduce Ireland’s food waste. It is only through collaboration and a shared vision that this ambitious goal can be achieved.