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What applies to food waste tracking? - You should already keep an eye on these legal regulations

After we have already highlighted the amendment of the Packaging Act and the effects for the catering industry in the last blog post, we are now devoting ourselves to further legal requirements that affect food waste tracking. On 11.06.21, the "Supply Chain Sourcing Obligations Act" (LkSG for short) was passed. Already on 22.04.21, the Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture Julia Klöckner signed the target agreement of the Dialogforum Außer-Haus-Verpflegung (in short: AHV) to reduce food waste. A few days ago, the G7 summit in Great Britain ended with a big promise: Namely, climate neutrality by 2050, halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 (compared to 2010) and nature conservation for 30% of the planet.

With the climate protection amendment of 25.6.21, the federal government decided to tighten these targets once again: The reduction target for 2030 has been corrected by 10% to at least 65% and climate neutrality is to be achieved as early as 2045 and not, as previously, by 2050. These targets are reflected in the national strategy for reducing food waste in the out-of-home catering sector: from company canteens to retirement homes, the aim is to reduce food waste by 30% by 2025 and by 50% by 2030.

This may sound ambitious, but it is absolutely feasible. After all, the AHV has enormous savings potential. According to the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL), 12 million tonnes of food go to waste in Germany every year, 14% of this food waste or 1.7 million tonnes is attributable to AHV. According to waste measurements and analyses by Borstel et al. (2017), there is a realistic avoidance potential for food waste in the AHV of between 30 and 50%. (Study Thünen Working Paper 161, p. 23)

What agreements are still in place to reduce food waste?

The German Sustainability Strategy aims to halve food waste per capita by 2030 and to introduce an indicator on food waste and loss in Germany. The basic agreement on the reduction of food waste, which was reached on 04 March 2020, was signed by 7 umbrella organisations of the agricultural and food industry, trade, the food trade and gastronomy and is intended to support this strategy. Dialogue-specific forums have been set up for each sector to develop sector-specific measures. Participating companies can commit themselves to implementation and thus support their own sustainability strategies. The individual sectors report annually to the National Dialogue Forum. This is considered the basis for cooperation in the implementation of the National Strategy to Reduce Food Waste.

The fields of action of the strategy include four focus points: 

  1. Political framework
  2. Process optimisation in the economy 
  3. Behavioural change of all stakeholders through food waste education
  4. Research and digitalisation for complex processes

Many companies are already making efforts to implement food waste prevention into their sustainability strategies. But to understand the problem, you also need to know the causes. 

Why does so much food end up in the bin? 

Large amounts of food waste are caused by, among other things, overproduction, non-needs-based purchasing or incorrect meal planning, lack of monitoring, portions that are too large, changes in demand at short notice, etc.

How can digitalisation help to reduce food waste?

Digital solutions offer many opportunities to contribute to food waste reduction, e.g. 

  • the creation of intelligent sales forecasts 
  • Process optimisation of ordering systems or 
  • more precise planning of staff and goods. 

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has recognised this problem and intends to promote digital solutions and better data management within the food supply chain. There are already many funding programmes that support digitisation processes in companies. We reported on this in our article on the topic of digitisation funding.

Simple documentation through food waste monitoring

Food waste tracking enables targeted measures

Delicious Data's software uses artificial intelligence to combine historical data from the farm with external factors, analyses them and creates realistic forecasts based on this data. Unnecessary food surpluses can thus be significantly reduced as early as the planning stage. On the one hand, this significantly optimises the purchase of food, which saves superfluous expenses. In addition, costs for the disposal of leftover food are reduced. The analysis also makes it possible to better understand the behaviour of guests and identify correlations. Staff deployment can also be managed more efficiently through more accurate forecasts of guest numbers. In addition, the kitchen manager saves valuable time in planning and processing food that would otherwise not find a buyer. By weighing and recording food waste, the effectiveness of the measures can be checked directly in the analysis dashboard. Food waste tracking then enables further adjustments to be made in the processing, preparation and planning of the food on offer.    

Conclusion: Environmental impact of food waste

Food waste does not only cause waste that has to be disposed of. Along the value chain up to the preparation of food, approx. 2.1 kg of CO2 equivalents are produced (measurement analyses by United Against Waste e. V. (UAW)). According to the "Thünen Working Paper 161" study on AHV in Germany, an average of 100g of food waste is produced per meal. Extrapolated, this would be 100,000€ per year and kitchen or 38 cents per meal. 

At Delicious Data, it is important to us not only to reduce food waste, but to prevent it from happening in the first place. How can we do that? Read on: in our white paper "Food Waste Monitoring in the EU: What measures are being taken?" you will find all the details about upcoming measures and the possibilities of digital tools. Click here to download it free of charge.

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More profit.

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Less Food Waste.

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More time for customers.