Food waste is one of the most important challenges facing society today, which has a profound impact on both the environment and on the economy, Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis said on Tuesday.
Citing EU data, he said annual food waste per capita in the bloc is 179kg, corresponding to total waste of €140 billion per year.
“This is truly shocking. Not to mention that food waste represents 15 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions associated with supply chains,” he said.
“It is therefore obvious that the transition to sustainable food systems is a necessity. For this reason, the EU has adopted the Farm to Fork strategy, setting the scene for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly system of food production, distribution and consumption.”
The Farm to Fork Strategy is at the heart of the European Green Deal. It strives to reduce food waste, mitigate climate change while adapting to its impact and reversing the loss of biodiversity.
Kadis’ statements came during an award ceremony organised by Life-Foodprint, a project addressing the environmental problem of food loss or waste aiming to bridge the gap between awareness and behaviour of key stakeholders in Cyprus.
The awards ceremony falls during the European Week for Waste Reduction, an annual event encouraging people to carry out awareness-raising actions about sustainable resource and waste management.
The minister awarded several businesses with a certificate from by the EU’s Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS).
EMAS is an instrument developed by the European Commission for companies and other organisations to evaluate, report, and improve their environmental performance.
“I warmly congratulate the businesses who received their EMAS certification, as their practices make a significant contribution to meeting the targets we have set to promote green growth in Cyprus,” Kadis said.
Finally, referring to the management of organic waste on the island, Kadis said that the agriculture ministry and is implementing a system that will separate organic from non-organic waste.