Slow Food and Zero Waste EU develop guidance for municipalities to reduce food waste within local food systems

In the European Union, it is estimated that 20% of food produced is wasted or lost.

This can not go on any longer, and food waste must become an issue of the past through the transition to a sustainable food system. Tackling food waste requires action all across the supply chain as it is a systemic consequence of our food system. And it can only succeed if municipalities, whether urban or rural, work together with farming communities and food producers in the green belts surrounding cities and in rural areas.

Slow Food and Zero Waste Europe have therefore developed guidelines for municipalities to prevent the generation of food waste based on examples of projects and initiatives which have  been successfully set up across Europe.

Marta Messa, Slow Food Europe Director, says: “With these guidelines, we aim to illustrate and give concrete examples on what a municipality can do to reduce food waste as part of a wider transition to sustainable food systems including providing financial incentives or financial support to local initiatives, designing regulatory frameworks, but also providing physical spaces, advice, promoting food donations, and raising awareness around the issues of food waste. This document  specifically focuses on which concrete actions municipalities can take  but also more broadly, on how they can stimulate  local food systems.”

Case studies concern Paris and Mouans-Sartoux in France, Milan in Italy, Porto in Portugal, Ghent and Bruges in Belgium, more than 300 cities in Czechia, Ljubljana in Slovenia, and Pontevedra in Spain.

Within the European Union (EU), existing legislation remains insufficient to act in an ambitious way in this regard. Only the 50% reduction target by 2030 for consumers and retail is mentioned in the Waste Framework Directive and hasn’t been made mandatory. However, the recently adopted EU Farm to Fork strategy paves the way for mandatory targets to be adopted, which will be based on the measurement of food waste levels that Member States have to record by 2022.

In order to tackle food waste and more generally guarantee a proper transition towards sustainable food systems, the European Union has established the EU’s Food2030 research and innovation framework,which revolves among 4 cross cutting priorities among which are circularity and resource efficiency, with a clear aim to achieve zero food waste. Dozens of cities in Europe are now developing policies with the clear aim to implement these priorities at the local level.

Municipalities have a great role and responsibility in shaping local food systems and tackling food waste. The recommendations published by Zero Waste Europe and Slow Food  represent a concrete tool for the 11 cities involved in the Food Trails project, of which Slow Food is a partner, as well as all other Food2030 ongoing projects.


Slow Food International Press Office

Alessia Pautasso – [email protected] (+39) 342 8641029

Paola Nano – [email protected] (+39) 329 8321285


Slow Food is a worldwide network of local communities founded in 1989 in order to counteract the disappearance of local food traditions and the spread of fast food culture. Since then, Slow Food has grown to become a global movement that involves millions of people in more than 160 countries and works so that we can all have access to good, clean and fair food.






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