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National Food Waste Prevention Roadmap 2023-2025

National Food Waste Prevention Roadmap 2023-2025

Date: 02 Dec 2022

Food waste has a significant impact on the production of carbon emissions so cutting down on it can help to meet Ireland’s overall emissions targets.

Food waste is a global problem that has environmental, social and economic consequences. Growing, processing, transporting and storage of food all use a significant amount of resources. Tackling food waste is one of the key steps we can take to achieve sustainability, to help combat climate change, and to support the transition to a circular economy and bioeconomy.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Ireland generated approximately 770,316 tonnes of food waste in 2020. Approximately 31% of the total comes from households, 29% comes from the processing and manufacturing sector, with the remainder coming from restaurants and food service (23%), primary production (9%), and retail and other distribution of food (8%).

Ireland’s new National Food Waste Prevention Roadmap 2023-2025, which sets out how we can dramatically cut down on our food waste by 2030, was launched in December 2022 by Ossian Smyth, Minister of State with responsibility for the Circular Economy at the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.

The development of a National Food Waste Prevention Roadmap is included as a commitment in Ireland’s Waste Action Plan for a Circular Economy, Food Vision 2030, and the Government’s Climate Action Plan 2021.

The Roadmap sets out actions that can be taken over the coming 3 years, which will set Ireland on course to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030 and sets out priority actions on areas such as how food waste can be reduced in the first place, segregation of food waste, safe donation of food, as well as research, and the role of effective communications and awareness-raising in helping to change behaviours. The document also looks at the role of the public sector in tackling food waste by improving procurement practices.

The National Food Waste Prevention Roadmap 2023-2025 includes:
  • Context on food waste and what components of the food supply chain are included in the Roadmap
  • How Ireland will establish its national baseline data on food waste from which we will achieve a 50% reduction by 2030.
  • The approach to interim milestones and targets on the way to that 2030 target
  • How we will ensure a robust national system for food waste measurement and reporting is established in order to meet Ireland’s reporting obligations and to monitor Ireland’s progress in meeting its UN and EU commitments over the next decade
  • A commitment to work together, enhance food waste measurement, and identify and implement key priority actions along the food supply chain to help deliver on Ireland’s commitments on food loss and food waste prevention
  • The approach to food waste segregation, food donation and redistribution, the role of research and innovation, and green public procurement in relation to food waste prevention
  • A commitment to deliver sustained communications and awareness on food waste prevention and segregation
  • How we will establish a monitoring and evaluation framework to check progress of key activities and update the Roadmap accordingly