09/03/2018 – News / Sustainability / Food Waste / Agriculture / France
France named Europe’s top country for food sustainability
France has come out tops in the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)’s recently published ‘Food Sustainability Index 2017’, which grades 34 nations based on food loss and waste, sustainable agriculture, and nutritional challenges.
Thanks to its nationwide war on waste, which bans supermarkets from throwing away unsold food and requires restaurants to provide doggy bags for leftovers, France secured the top spot in the index, followed by Japan, Germany, Spain and Sweden.
It is “unethical and immoral” to waste resources when hundreds of millions go hungry across the world, said Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, at the recent launch of the index. “We are all responsible – every person and every country,” he added.
According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, one-third of all food produced worldwide – around 1.3 billion tons per year – is wasted. As it decomposes in landfills across the globe, this wasted food releases more greenhouse gas emissions than any country except for China and the US.
France was the first country to implement specific food waste legislation, and loses only 1.8 per cent of its total food production each year, with plans to halve its waste by 2025.
With high food waste of almost 1,000 kilogrammes per person per year, the UAE ranked in last place in the Index. Rising obesity and an agriculture sector dependent on depleting water resources also contributed to the country’s poor performance.