Cutting down on food waste

About one-third of all the world’s food goes to waste. The government wants to cut back on food waste in the Netherlands.

Huge quantities of uneaten food

A great deal of perfectly good food is never eaten and gets thrown away in household rubbish bins. Large quantities of food are also lost in harvesting, storage and transportation. Food waste is not just a waste of money. It also wastes valuable resources like water, soil and energy. The government is committed to reducing food waste and food losses.

Halving food waste by 2030

The United Nations wants to cut global food waste by 50% by the year 2030. This is one of the Sustainable Development Goals agreed by the UN.

The EU agriculture ministers have adopted this target. And they’ve agreed on how they want to tackle the problem. Ultimately, it is up to consumers and the business community to cut back food waste, but the government can encourage their efforts.

Consumer advice on combating food waste

The Netherlands Nutrition Centre gives consumers tips on how to reduce food waste, for instance by buying, cooking and storing food more efficiently.

Food waste: businesses helping consumers

Businesses can also help consumers to waste less food, for instance by selling smaller portions and providing better information on the shelf life of their products.

The Dutch Alliance for Sustainable Food

The Dutch Alliance for Sustainable Food is a partnership between the government and the business community. Partners include the Dutch Federation of Agricultural and Horticultural Organisations and the Central Bureau for the Foodstuffs Trade. Together, they are working to cut food losses by farmers, factories, supermarkets and the hospitality industry.

No Waste Network describes best practices for reducing food waste. There is also a helpdesk for businesses.

Knowledge and innovation

The government makes funding available for joint research into better ways of preventing food waste and finding other uses for surplus food.