Ole Kaysen, Kathrine Kirkevaag, Jarle Marthinsen, and Peter Sundt
Nordic Council of Ministers
This report covers and describes all kinds of operations preparing and serving food outside private homes, we call all these operations the "hospitality sector". According to Danish and Finnish statistics it might be concluded that one third of all food is served within the hospitality sector. This means that the hospitality sector is important also when it comes to fighting avoidable food waste in society. Due to the fact that the hospitality sector is complex and comprises various kinds of activities and organisations, the report contains a thorough description of this sector in each of the four Nordic countries Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden. Based on different methods the amounts of food waste and avoidable food waste are calculated in order to illustrate the situation of avoidable food waste within the hospitality sector in general and for different segments. The analyses conclude with a best estimate for total avoidable food waste in the four countries of 456,000 tons, e.g. about 18kg/ inhabitant. The differences between available reports underline a need for better statistics, including better definitions and reporting systems. Prevention of avoidable food waste is an important environmental issue. Each country will be affected of new EU ambitions on avoidable food waste reduction. Further, every member state has to develop waste prevention plans for 2013. New EU strategies on resource efficiency will probably also comprise the issue of avoidable food waste. The report describes initiatives taken both by Governments and operators in the market. Both EU and some countries are also about to define reduction targets on avoidable food waste. Many operators within the hospitality sector are active as well in order to reduce their avoidable food waste, both in order to reduce their costs and reduce the environmental impacts of food that is not eaten by humans. The report concludes that new instruments are needed in order to meet overall avoidable food waste targets, to reduce environmental negative impacts and obtain benefits for society. Instruments are also required in order to bridge the ambitions and rules related to food safety and avoidable food waste prevention. Different economic, regulative and communicative instruments are listed without concluding on which instrument or package of instruments that should be chosen. The report proposes that national instruments might be reinforced and coordinated on a Nordic level. The project results consist of a report and a guide. The guide includes practical advices for the operators within the hospitality sector. The report and the guide are partly based on information gathered from interviews and a survey undertaken in the four countries in January 2012.