The European Commission (EC) has announced the adoption of a new methodology to address the issue of food wastage across the European Union (EU).

According to EC, nearly 20% of the food produced in the EU is lost or wasted every year, which is causing social and environmental damage, as well as economic harm.

As a measure to address the issue, EC has adopted a Delegated Act, which lays down a common food waste measurement methodology and supports its member states in measuring the food wastage at each stage of the food supply chain.

European Commission first vice-president Frans Timmermans said: “Food waste is unacceptable in a world where millions still suffer from hunger and where our natural resources, which make human life and wellbeing possible, are becoming increasingly scarce.

“We have defined food waste prevention as a key priority in building a circular economy and a sustainable society.”

“That is why we have defined food waste prevention as a key priority in building a circular economy and a sustainable society. To deliver change, we have to be able to properly measure food waste.”

Based on a common definition of food waste, the methodology will monitor food waste levels across the EU.

The initiative is said to be part of the Circular Economy Action Plan adopted by the EC in December 2015.

In May, a revised EU waste legislation as part of the Circular Economy Action Plan was adopted outlining measures to prevent food wastage, which is expected to provide the EU with consistent data on food waste levels.

As per the new legislation, EU member states need to implement national food waste prevention programmes and focus on the reduction of food waste at each stage of the supply chain, as well as monitor and report on wastage levels.

EC’s latest initiative will also help achieve the global Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.3 to reduce food losses across the food production and supply chain, as well as halve food waste per capita at the retail and consumer level by 2030.

The new Delegated Act is subject to scrutiny by co-legislators and will be sent to the Parliament and the Council by the end of July.