Agreement to reduce food waste

The Norwegian Government and the food industry have signed an agreement to reduce food waste in Norway by 50 percent by 2030.

On June 23rd 2017, five Ministries on behalf of the Norwegian government and twelve food industry organizations, signed a binding agreement to halve food waste across the food value chain in Norway within 2030. Food waste in Norway refer to the edible part of food waste. This reduction target is in line with the UN sustainability goal 12.3 and in fact a bit more ambitious because the goal applies to the entire food value chain from primary production to consumers. 

One third of all food produced globally is spoiled or thrown away. In Norway alone, the average consumer throws out 42 kg edible food every year. Food waste in the entire food chain represents 68 kg per person per year.  

– Our agreement is breaking new ground and we are setting ambitious goals of reduction. I have great confidence that this agreement will contribute to reducing food waste in Norway, says Minister of Climate and Environment, Vidar Helgesen.

The agreement is voluntary, but binding for the contracting parties. Both primary producers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, restaurants, households and the authorities must take responsibility for reducing food waste. Both the food industry and the government believe that the chances of success are greater with collaboration, which may include private and public initiatives across the value chain, including consumers. 

Consequently, Norway sees great benefits in engaging all sectors and the entire value chain. 350 000 tonnes (metric) perfectly edible food is thrown away annually in Norway. More than half of this amount is thrown out by the consumers. Measures at one point along the value chain may affect whether the food is wasted or not at another point of the value chain. The various industry organizations will contribute with actions in their own sector and across the spectrum, and influence consumers to waste less food. Each organization can choose which measures they implement to reach the common goal. The fact that the entire food value chain from primary production to consumers is involved, will safeguard against disproportionate pressure on just one part of the food chain. 

It is necessary to map the problem to decide on appropriate measures. The industry will take responsibility for collecting data from their members. The authorities will compile national statistics after receiving reports from the industry, and also provide consumer statistics.

You may read more here:

Industry agreement on reduction of food waste – Norway

Declaration of endorsement from companies in Norway

Vidar Helgesens speach given at the EAT Conferanse 2017