The agri-food sector is a key motor of the EU economy. In 2014, a total turnover of nearly 4 trillion euros was produced by agriculture, food industry, wholesale and retail together, with over 23 million people employed along the supply chain. However, current food systems face great challenges related to their level of sustainability, especially concerning the scarcity of environmental resources to feed the growing world population, the impact of food production on climate change and the issues of food security, malnutrition and inequality in food availability.
The loss and waste of food at all stages of the food value chains, including consumption, hinders the sustainability of food systems by touching several of these issues. Food loss and waste are estimated to amount to 88 million tonnes per year in Europe, corresponding to about 20 % of the total food produced.