Voluntary Agreements as a solution for food waste reduction
This policy briefing from EU food waste research project REFRESH outlines how ‘Voluntary Agreements’ between stakeholders throughout the supply chain can be used to reduce food waste, and makes policy suggestions to favour the creation of such agreements.
The report argues that the benefits of Voluntary Agreements includes their flexibility and ability to rapidly adjust to suit changing conditions, since they are not legally binding instruments. An example of a Voluntary Agreement is the Courtauld Commitment, which aims to reduce waste in the UK grocery sector.
The report sets out several policy recommendations to support Voluntary Agreements, including:
- Provide long-term financing and governance structures
- Establish an independent third party to lead the agreement
- Have a clear measurement methodology to define progress and track results
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.