Knowledge for better food systems

Policy brief: Reducing consumer food waste

This policy briefing from EU food waste research project REFRESH outlines policy options for reducing food waste at the consumer level, based on both desktop research and a survey of households in four countries.

The main recommendations include:

  • Policies that help consumers to increase their skills in managing food are likely to have an impact, in contrast to campaigns that focus on the negative impacts of food waste, which are less likely to have an impact.
  • Campaigns should aim to influence social norms.
  • Policymakers should consider policies involving regulation (such as relaxing marketing standards about the size or shape of fruit and vegetables) or “nudging” approaches (such as changing portion or plate sizes).

Read the full report, REFRESH Policy Brief: Reducing consumer food waste, here. See also the report REFRESH Policy Brief: Voluntary Agreements as a collaborative solution for food waste reduction and the Foodsource building block What is food loss and food waste?

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Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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