AZTI researcher David San Martín will be part of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Waste (FLW), an initiative promoted by the European Commission with the aim of preventing food waste, for the next 5 years. The platform’s committee of experts is made up of 45 members from all over Europe, 7 of whom are representatives of research centres and only one (AZTI) from Spain. The election of San Martin is a recognition of his research work in circular economy and highlights the more than 20 years of experience of this technology centre in the valuation of food by-products and the integration of the circular economy in the food value chain.

David San Martín Researcher Azti

Food waste: a problem with a cross-cutting solution

The most recent estimates of European food waste levels (FUSIONS, 2016) reveal that 70% of EU food waste arises in the household, food service and retail sectors, with production and processing sectors contributing the remaining 30%.

Tackling food waste means working together with all key players from public and private sectors in order to better identify, measure, understand and find solutions to deal with food waste. There is not one single cause with one solution because the food chain is a complex and dynamic system. All actors in the food chain need to work together to find solutions, from farmers, processors, manufacturers and retailers through to consumers themselves. Policy makers, research scientists, food banks and other NGOs also play an important role.

A European commitment to the SDGs

This is why the EU and EU countries have committed to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) adopted in September 2015, which aims to halve per capita food waste at retail and consumer level by 2030, and to reduce food losses along food production and supply chains.

In order to support achievement of the SDG 12.3 target on food waste and maximise the contribution of all actors, the Communication on Circular Economy (2015) called on the Commission to establish a Platform dedicated to food waste prevention. Thus the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste (FLW) was established in 2016, bringing together EU institutions, experts from the EU countries and relevant stakeholders selected through an open call for applications. The Platform aims to support all actors in: defining measures needed to prevent food waste; sharing best practice; and evaluating progress made over time.

The EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste, created in 2019, will continue to serve in this new mandate, which runs from 2022 to 2026 and will continue to play a key role in mobilising action to reduce food loss and waste across the EU as part of the Farm to Fork Strategy

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