Conference on food waste reduction held at EXPO Milano

Feed use of former foodstuffs is part of the solution to reduce EU food waste

On Oct. 15 the European Commission organized a high level conference at the EXPO Milano, in contribution to the search of EU food waste reduction solutions.

Former foodstuff processors, with EFFPA as the representative body at EU level, already prevent an estimated 3.5 million metric tons of food chain losses from going to waste by processing foodstuff no longer suitable for human consumption into feed for food-producing animals. Former foodstuffs are removed from the human food consumption market, by food manufacturers, because of unintentional and often unavoidable production errors.

Examples of former foodstuffs used in animal feed are broken biscuits and chocolates, surplus bread, incorrectly flavored crisps and breakfast cereals. In addition, surpluses resulting from seasonal festivities such as sports events, Easter and Christmas are used, after the food manufacturer has taken the options for food bank donation into account. Moreover, former foodstuffs must be in full compliance with EU feed safety requirements as well as the General Food Law’s demands as regards traceability to become eligible for feed use.

EFFPA President Paul Featherstone said, “It may surprise people, but energy-rich former foodstuffs like biscuits, chocolates and confectionary are highly valued resources in animal feed manufacturing. In fact, our end-product can be used as an alternative to cereal grains, thereby reducing the dependence on land-requiring raw materials, and thus the environmental footprint of foodstuffs of animal origin.”

EFFPA calls on EU policy makers to clarify the regulatory framework for former foodstuff processors through the planned proposal on the circular economy, making it clear that former foodstuffs are by-products and by no means legal “wastes.”

According to Featherstone, “It is clear that the safe use of former foodstuffs in animal feed contributes to a more sustainable food chain and should unambiguously be encouraged. Our innovation-driven, non-subsidized industry could still double in production within the EU with the right regulatory guidance.”