3 minutes

Current measures to avoid food waste

On 7 June, a draft law was approved in Spain which provides for fines to be imposed on companies in the production and distribution chain for unnecessary food waste. The amount of these fines ranges from 2,000 to 60,000€. This law is to be presented to the parliament in Madrid this month and will then come into force at the beginning of 2023.

Food Waste Figures Spain and Germany

In Spain, 1.36 million tonnes of food are thrown away every year - equivalent to about 30 kilograms per capita. Now, as a pioneer for the EU, Spain is tackling this problem through legislation. For example, under the bill, restaurants will be required to offer diners the option of taking home uneaten food and major food companies will be encouraged to develop plans to tackle the current mismanagement. Supermarkets will also be encouraged to reduce the prices of goods that will soon reach their best-before date.

Compared to Spain, even more food is thrown away in this country. To clarify the situation, here are three concise facts:

  • In German private households alone, approximately 6.14 million tonnes of food were thrown away in 2015, which equates to about 75 kg of food per person.
Amount of annual food waste in Germany
Amount of annual food waste in Germany(own presentation)
  • In Germany as a whole, this results in between 12 and 18 million tonnes of food waste every year, and according to WWF, more than half of this could be avoided.
20.3 tonnes of food waste is equivalent to the weight of 14.5 cars
  • Every second, 313 kilos of edible food are unnecessarily thrown away. This means that in the time it has taken you to read this text, 20.3 tonnes of perfectly good food alone has been thrown away. That is roughly equivalent to the weight of 14.5 cars.

These figures clearly show the need for action at national level. The first action plans of the Ministry of Climate Protection already exist, which envisage the reduction of food waste by 30% in the areas of trade, out-of-home consumption and private households by 2025. Subsequently, a reduction of 50% is to be achieved by 2030.

What will happen next? AI as a solution to reduce food waste

It seems only a matter of time before measures similar to those in Spain are introduced in Germany.

First politicians, such as Thuringia's Minister of Agriculture Susanna Karawanskij, are already calling for such regulations. In her opinion, there is not so much a production problem as a distribution problem when it comes to food. For this reason, she insists on legal measures that oblige retailers to donate food to social projects instead of throwing it away.

However, the current waste problem is also motivating more and more food retail chains, such as Tegut or Metro, which see a possible approach to achieving these goals in methods that integrate artificial intelligence. For example, Tegut uses the software "Predecy", which enables targeted price reductions based on sales figures and information about expiry dates that will soon be reached. On the other hand, the research project "Appetite", in which Fraunhofer Austria Research, the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration and the Metro retail chain are collaborating, is working on a prevention-oriented tool. The goal is to be able to make accurate forecasts based on various internal and external company data in order to prevent potential waste before it even occurs.

This is exactly Delicious Data's approach: thanks to our artificial intelligence, we have been able to achieve a reduction in avoidable food waste of around 30% for our clients. By using accurate forecasts, fewer resources are needed and food waste is reduced at the same time. Thus, a significant contribution can be made to achieving the German government's greenhouse gas reduction target, while at the same time enforcing the BMEL's legal requirements to avoid food waste. In addition, with the help of the daily planner, the use of goods can be forecast granularly over the course of the day, so that products are always fresh and available in the required quantity without overproduction or sell-outs.

We explain how you can benefit from AI in your company in our free and non-binding webinar. This is how you learn with the help of AI:

📉 Reduce costs

Optimise processes

✅ and meet demands according to need.

💬 You are interested in the problem described and would like to take the opportunity to discuss it with us and others? Then take a look at Roland's post on this topic!

Checked off

More profit.

Checked off

Less Food Waste.

Checked off

More time for customers.