COMECE have welcomed the European Parliament adoption of a resolution on food waste titled “Resource efficiency: reducing food waste, improving food safety”.
Father Olivier Poquillon OP, secretary general of COMECE, welcomed the news saying “In recent years Pope Francis has repeatedly spoken out against the scandal of food waste. He criticized a throwaway culture that ‘made us insensitive to wasting and throwing out excess foodstuffs, which is especially condemnable when many people and families suffer hunger and malnutrition’. He specifically addressed the issue of food waste in his speech to the European Parliament in November 2014.”
He continued, “COMECE considers the adoption of the resolution on food waste in the European Parliament a landmark and welcomes it. The own-initiative report is comprehensive and received strong voting by MEPs. Thus, it should encourage the Commission to accelerate its preparatory studies for appropriate legislation and the Council to prepare for bold steps allowing all stakeholders, and especially consumers, to address the scandal of food waste in the European Union.”
According to the European Union project ‘Fusions’ (Food Use for Social Innovation by Optimising Waste Prevention Strategies), an estimated 88 million tonnes of food are wasted each year, more than half through European households. On average, every European is throwing away about 2kg of food each week.
COMECE welcomed the European Parliament recommendation asking the Commission to consider submitting a legislative proposal which would add a Sustainable Development Goal of halving food waste by 2030.
Father Poquillon added, “Since 53% of food waste in the EU occurs in households, the most important task is to raise awareness among Europeans about the social and environmental consequences of throwing away eatable food.” He noted that local initiatives, as well as Parish and Church movements can help contribute in teaching good practices of buying and storing food, as well as of using leftovers.
COMECE is made up of bishops delegated by the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of the 28 Member States of the European Union. Bishop Noel Treanor, Bishop of Down and Connor, is the COMECE representative from the Irish Bishops’ Conference. For more information on COMECE visit www.comece.eu.