Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue has called on food consumers to be aware of food loss and food waste.

Today (Wednesday, September 29) is International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Food Waste.

Speaking this afternoon, the minister highlighted that the department’s new agri-food strategy, FoodVision 2030, makes provision to halve food waste in Ireland by 2030, and he called on “everyone to help achieve that ambition”.

“Ireland generates more than one million tonnes of food waste each year. It is now more important than ever to continue to develop initiatives to help to address this issue,” he said.

The minister noted that the department announced €180,000 funding under the Rural Innovation and Development Fund, for initiatives aimed at reducing food waste from food businesses, retailers, wholesalers or suppliers in rural areas.

“These initiatives will help support projects in rural areas in reducing food waste and contribute to our commitment to reduce the amount of food we waste, in accordance with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Food Vision 2030,” he said.

Minister McConalogue added that the department “supports a number of projects aimed at reducing food waste” at manufacturing and retail level.

Some 930 million tonnes globally of food sold to households, retailers, restaurants and other food services are thrown away every year, not including food that is lost during production and distribution.

Speaking today, director general of the European Food Information Council (EUFIC), Dr. Laura Fernandez Celemin, said food waste is a “growing problem we need to tackle urgently across the food supply chain; throwing away food spoils valuable resources, causes excess carbon dioxide emissions intensifying the climate crisis, while putting a further strain on food security”.

“To get a grip on food waste, we must involve all actors that can bring change, from farmers to retailers, national governments, multilateral institutions, NGOs, as well as citizens,” she added.