Romanian Agriculture Minister Achim Irimescu says that food waste could be reduced by raising the price of food, adding that his countrymen do not appreciate its true value. EurActiv Romania reports.
“They fill up the fridge and then have to deal with a lot of expired items. I admit it has happened to me. One solution to reducing petrol and fossil fuel consumption is to raise the price, so the same can probably be done in the food market. If a kilo of meat is priced right, then people will take more care,” the minister insisted.
Irimescu believes that this could lead to a change in mentality regarding the purchase and consumption of food.
In an effort to meet its UN food waste goal by 2030, the European Commission has announced the creation of a new platform on food loss and waste.
“Humanity is heading towards a food crisis. I think it would be more useful to change people’s way of thinking and I believe Romania has the capacity to solve this problem,” the minister said.
He added that his ministry has set up a working group comprised of 25 public and private entities that hope to come to a long-term solution regarding food waste.
“We all know that currently, in the EU, we would not be able to produce affordable products for consumers without subsidies,” he warned. The minister also lamented the amount of money that the EU has to spend on agriculture every year, some €40 billion.
Irimescu praised schemes that many Western European countries have implemented, where close-to-expiring food is made available at a moderate price to those who could not otherwise afford it, adding that “we are interested in throwing away as little as possible”.
Romania, according to official statistics, throws away 2.5 million tonnes of food a year.
France wastes enough food every year to feed ten million people, or cut national greenhouse gas emissions by 3%, according to a study published on Thursday (26 May) by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME). EurActiv’s partner Journal de l’Environnement reports.