On 2 December the European Commission published the long-awaited Communication on the Circular Economy. EFFPA is pleased to see that the Commission is set on unambiguously making clear that former foodstuffs destined to animal feed should under no circumstances be considered a ‘waste’.
This change to the legal framework, which supports the feed valorisation of former foodstuffs, is part of Europe's strategy to reduce food waste along the chain. Most importantly, the Commission proposes to exclude all feed materials, including former foodstuffs, from the scope of the Waste Framework Directive 2008/98/EC in its legal proposal on Waste. The Commission's approach shows that former foodstuff processing is recognised as an important link between the food and feed chain and should be part of integrated food and feed safety policies.
EFFPA president Paul Featherstone: "A clear non-waste legal status for former foodstuffs is very much needed, as former foodstuff processors occasionally find their operations interrupted by environmental control authorities who incorrectly interpret former foodstuffs as a 'waste'. The circular economy package once and for all confirms our operations have nothing to do with waste processing or food waste recycling".
Expansion of sector
EFFPA is convinced that the Commission's approach will help with expansion of the sector, which currently processes approximately 3.5 million tonnes of former foodstuffs into feed for food-producing animals in the countries where EFFPA holds membership, and further reduce food waste throughout Europe. In the EU Member States where a lot of feed-eligible former foodstuffs are still landfilled or at best used as biogas the exclusion from the waste scope will enhance the legal certainty of former foodstuff processing as a business activity.
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