WWF challenges the EU Commission to develop credible food policy on World Food Day | WWF

WWF challenges the EU Commission to develop credible food policy on World Food Day

Posted on 16 October 2013    
Up to 1/3 of all food ends up as waste
© Toomas Kokovkin
(Brussels, 16 October) Today on World Food Day, WWF calls on the European Commission to develop a robust sustainable food strategy to tackle a growing world food crisis that will put at its centre an end to food shortages, tackle the wasteful use of natural resources like water and soils, and curb the European consumption and food waste binge.

The European Commission’s Consultation on the "Sustainability of the Food System” that ended in September was the opening of a hugely important public debate. But we can’t stop there. The Commission must follow through with a credible plan to change how our food is produced and consumed after having closed its consultation on "Sustainability of the Food System” two weeks ago.

Quotes from Tony Long, Director, WWF European Policy Office
“The EU doesn’t even have a food policy. But meanwhile it continues to pour billions of euros a year into a broken agricultural policy that creates havoc around the world. We are destroying forests in the developing world at an alarming rate for farmland to produce animal feed for European livestock producers. What kind of folly is this? , At the same time obesity in Europe among adults and children is skyrocketing due to eating too much of the wrong types of food, this can lead to serious health issues and high costs for governments.

"WWF is trying to find ways to improve European diets, which are far too dependent on resource-intensive and unhealthy foods and are simply not sustainable. The LiveWell for LIFE project looks at national food consumption patterns and solutions for people, businesses and policy makers to facilitate the adoption of more healthy and sustainable diets. Decision makers need to sit up and take notice of these solutions if we are going to effectively tackle Europe’s food consumption footprint in an informed way.”

“Europe’s real challenge lies in eating better. Better means, good for people and good for planet. Therefore the European Commission should come forward with an ambitious proposal to sustainable food in which better diets play a central role.”

The facts:
  • Agricultural land accounts for 33% of the world’s land area and 70% of our freshwater use;
  • Between 1990-2008 an area of forest equivalent to almost twice the size of Belgium was cut down in South America, Africa and Asia to meet European food demands;
  • Environmental footprints between different foods differ greatly. For example: The carbon footprint of 1 Kg of pork is 31 times higher than that of 1 Kg of potatoes; Currently 1/3 of all food production is wasted throughout the whole food chain;
  • The average per capita consumption of meat in Europe is 85,1kg. In the developing world it is 25Kg; Europeans eat 70% more protein than recommended for a healthy diet;
  • Between 1-5% of national health budgets in Europe is spent on obesity. This is rising;
  • Globally 1.4 billion people are overweight of which 500 million obese;
  • 870 million people are suffering from chronic undernourishment;
  • FAO calculates the combined cost of malnutrition at $3.5 trillion/year.
To find out more about the LiveWell for Life project go to

For access to the European Commission’s, “Sustainability of the Food System” consultation go to: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/consultations/food_en.htm

For more information

Media and Communications
WWF European Policy Office
Tel: +32 2 7400 925
Mob:+32 476 256 879 

About WWF
WWF is one of the world's largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world's biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.
Up to 1/3 of all food ends up as waste
© Toomas Kokovkin Enlarge

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Donate to WWF

Your support will help us build a future where humans live in harmony with nature.

Enter Yes if you accept the terms and conditions
Enter Yes if you accept the terms and conditions