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Promoting a responsible restaurant industry

through the reduction of food waste

Today one third of the food produced every year is thrown away. To

tackle this problem, the 28 EU Member States committed in September

2015 in the United Nations to halve per capita food waste by 2030, as

part of the U.N Sustainable Development Goals, while the European

Union is currently developing many activities to help Member States

fulfil this pledge.

An active contribution to EU activities on food waste


The hospitality industry is a small waster of food


, as it generates only

a share of the waste produced by the food service sector (12%), while

the bigger wasters are households (53% of the total food waste in

Europe) and the processing industry (19%). Despite this excellent track

record, HOTREC actively engaged in the EU activities about food waste

reduction to help the industry achieving high levels of sustainability.

For instance, HOTREC joined in November 2016 the newly created

EU platform on food losses and food waste. By bringing its expertise,

HOTREC is helping the EU institutions in the elaboration of various policy

documents on food donations and food waste measurement. This will

ensure that the needs and constraints of SMEs in the hospitality sector

will be accurately reflected, therefore reducing red-tape, while helping

enterprises reducing food waste.

With the same objective in mind, HOTREC also contributed to the debate

on the revision of the Waste Framework Directive and to the European

Parliament own-initiative report on food waste reduction, by advocating

flexible targets for food waste reduction, a focalisation on big wasters,

and the promotion of financial incentives to help enterprises reduce their

food waste.

HOTREC developed concrete tools to help restaurants

HOTREC also engaged with other stakeholders active on food waste

reduction. This resulted in the conclusion of a framework agreement

with METRO and the European Federation of Food Banks (FEBA), which

foresees regular exchange of best-practices.

Besides, HOTRECdevelopedanewbrochurecontainingaset of guidelines

which any hospitality establishment can follow to reduce its food waste,

some recommendations to help businesses managing donations to

charitable organisations, as well as best-practices examples developed

by HOTREC members to help the industry reducing food waste. The

brochure was officially presented in a successful event organised in the

European Parliament at the kind invitation of MEP Biljana Borzan.

These actions are clear examples of how HOTREC helps hospitality

businesses achieving a high level of environmental and economic

sustainability, through the saving of resources, while contributing to a

positive EU legislative framework for businesses.

“We acknowledge the initiative

taken by HOTREC, the European

Federation of Food Banks and

the retailer METRO AG to sign

a Framework Agreement to

formalise cooperation to reduce

food waste and further engage

in food donation”

Xavier Prats Monné, Director General of DG Santé,

European Commission


See FUSIONS report “Food waste data set for EU-28”