What is the definition of food waste and how can all European countries monitor their food waste in a uniform manner? A proposal was presented on 3 July 2014 by FUSIONS, a European consortium that aims to reduce food waste, led by Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research.
Standardizing the way to monitor how much food is wasted in all European countries helps to identify which measures are effective in reducing this waste. Therefore, FUSIONS has been working on a methodology that could be applied in all EU member states. The consortium partners also proposed a uniform definition of food wastage. In short, this definition is: Food waste is any food, and inedible parts of food, removed from the food supply chain to be recovered or disposed. But it a bit more complex than that. Using residues in feed, for instance, is considered a valuable application, whereas bioenergy production through fermentation of biomass from food crops is considered food waste.
Measuring sustainability of the entire food system
FUSIONS proposes to measure both edible and inedible parts of unused food. One reason to propose this is that it is not always possible to separately analyse the edible and non-edible parts. But there is another reason, too. "Monitoring both edible and inedible fractions, together or separately where possible, will ensure that the overall resource efficiency of the food system is taken into account when assessing its sustainability", states the FUSIONS press release