NORSUS report on food waste: - Everyone is responsible for reaching the 2030 goal

Mindre matsvinn i matvarebransjen - Aina Stensgård

From 2015 to 2021, food waste in the food and hospitality industry was reduced by 14 percent, meaning that the 2020 goal of a 15 percent reduction is just out of reach. This states the food waste report from NORSUS and Matvett.

– We need to work faster if we want to reach the goal of the industry agreement on reducing food waste by 50 percent by 2030, says the research manager at NORSUS, Aina Stensgård, in an interview with NRK.

According to the report made by NORSUS and Matvett, most of the food waste occurs in the food industry at the beginning of the value chain and at the consumers at the end of the value chain. Nevertheless, the report highlights that all the actors throughout the value chain are responsible for throwing away less food and that collaboration across the value chain is needed to achieve better results.  

The report shows that food waste in the food and hospitality industry represents an annual financial loss of about eight billion NOK and a climate footprint of bout 0,5 million tons of CO2.

As the authorities are responsible for mapping the food waste at consumer level, the NORSUS report points out other measures the government can take.

- They must adjust regulations in a way that contributes to less food being thrown away. An example of today is that cruise ships cannot give excess food to food banks. And they have started the work on a law for throwing away food which they hopefully can implement in 2024, says Stensgård to NRK.

How much food each of us discard depends on criteria such as age and the number of people in the household. It has been known for years that the post-war generation (boomers) throws away less food than younger generations, but the new report states that single households throw away the most.

– The number of single households is growing, and our findings send a significant signal to the food industry to do something about the portion sizes, says Stensgård.

Watch the interview

Based on the report, the research manager gives the following advice for throwing away less food:

  • Make a plan when buying groceries
  • Write and stick to your shopping list
  • Don't be afraid of running out of something. Eat something else
  • Save the leftover food and introduce a weekly leftover food day