Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Croatian Food Waste: How Much Do We Throw Away Each Year?

June the 15th, 2022 - When it comes to Croatian food waste, we throw away an alarming amount of perfectly decent items. A new EU initiative is set to change that.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, when it comes to Croatian food waste, every inhabitant threw away an average of 71 kilograms of food last year and 53 percent of food was thrown away from households, so reducing food waste will be the focus of the ''EU chooses safe food'' campaign by the Croatian Agriculture and Food Agency (HAPIH), as HRT reports.

"More than half of the total of Croatian food waste comes from households, and as much as 10 percent is the result of a lack of understanding of the expiration date on food. That's why it's necessary to continuously educate people and raise the level of awareness of our consumers,'' said the director of HAPIH, Darja Sokolic, before the start of the campaign that HAPIH is conducting together with the European Food Safety Agency.

More than a third of households (39 percent) never or rarely use leftover meals to prepare a new meal, and too much food bought and prepared, and then being too much to eat in one sitting, is cited as the most common reason for throwing away food.

Sokolic believes that people in Croatia are more interested in issues related to food safety compared to the EU average, which was contributed to by the high level of transparency and the frequent withdrawal of products from the market.

The head of the Food Safety Sector of the Ministry of Agriculture, Tomislav Kis, said that the EU legislation includes the highest standards of hygiene and food safety. The basic premise of the current legislation is self-control, Kis points out, which means that every manufacturer is responsible for controlling themselves because that reduces the risk to a minimum.

“We can make perfect food through the chain, but if some chicken stays in the kitchen for three days outside the refrigerator, there’s a chance it won’t be good. Everyone needs to do their part,'' said Kis at the panel discussion.

Last year, nine food-borne epidemics were recorded in Croatia with a total of 102 patients, among which the most common was salmonella poisoning, warned HAPIH in its statement.

Well-known chef Melkior Basic pointed out that globally speaking, most restaurants take care of food waste.

"Ingredients and food products are valuable items and it's a pity to throw away half of them due to carelessness and ignorance. Many foods, such as clear soup, can be frozen, and the food we cooked can be eaten again a day later,'' said Basic.

Across the European Union, 88 million tonnes of food worth a total of around 143 billion euros are thrown away every year. That's why the EU campaign for safe food is being implemented in nine other European Union countries: Austria, Italy, Spain, Latvia, Poland, Portugal, Finland, Greece and Cyprus.

In addition to techniques that can reduce food waste to a minimum, people can learn more about the safety of new foods on the market, plant health, allergens, additives, packaging, dietary supplements and their overall health.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Thursday, 4 March 2021

Croatian Parliament (Sabor): About 75 kg of Food thrown Out in Croatia Annually Per Head

ZAGREB, 4 March, 2021 - About 75 kilograms of food is thrown out each year in Croatia per head, lawmakers underlined on Thursday during a debate on an agriculture bill which among other things regulates the prevention of waste food.

"Food waste has reached a value of 20% of the total amount of food produced in Europe and on the global level losses amount to one-third of all the food produced, while in Croatia we throw out 75 kilograms of food each year per head," said MP Marijana Petir of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) caucus.

The agriculture bill, she said, would be the basis for documents that will regulate more clearly activities regarding food donations and preventing food waste, but also a system of quality food production.

The EU foresees reducing food waste by 50% by 2030 and we too have to achieve that aim, Petir underscored. "Any reduction of throwing out food means less pressure on farmland and reduced consumption of water, pesticides, and fertiliser."

MP Marija Selak Raspudić (Bridge) said that a quality system of food donations is important given the increasing poverty, but added that the bill does not provide a clear plan and that the most important thing would be to establish a food bank.

Anka Mrak Taritaš (GLAS) too underlined the need for a food bank so that surplus food can be distributed at the national level.

State Secretary in the Agriculture Ministry Tugomir Majdak said that the amount of donated food in 2019 had increased by 30% compared to 2018 and amounted to 1.5 million tonnes.

With regard to reducing food waste, Majdak explained that a guide has been prepared for food donations, a feasibility study for a food bank has been prepared, and tax reliefs on food donations have been defined.

The amendments to the law will align it with EU regulations regarding the prevention of food waste.

Monday, 28 December 2020

Ministry of Agriculture Calls for Less Food Waste During Holidays

ZAGREB, Dec 28, 2020 - The Ministry of Agriculture on Monday appealed to citizens to try and reduce the amount of food thrown out during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

The festive season is a time of giving and plenty when we prepare and consume a great amount of food and drink, the ministry underscored, noting that rarely do people eat everything they bought and prepared.

Surveys have shown that about 53%, or even up to 70% according to some surveys, of food thrown out comes from households, the ministry said in a press release.

The ministry hence recalled that it had launched a series of activities during the year aimed at raising awareness among consumers regarding the problem of excessive food waste in Croatia, with the purpose of changing habits and behaviour with food in households, the workplace, in schools, in stores or in restaurants.

The ministry appealed to citizens to try and reduce the amount of food wasted in each household during the festive season by applying a series of pointers, such as planning shopping lists and rational buying without creating unnecessary stores.

"Let's be socially sensitive throughout the year and share groceries and surplus food with those in need," the ministry underlined.

The ministry recalled that reducing the amount of food waste means decreasing household costs and that contributes to a personal feeling of satisfaction because food is not being thrown away. 

The ministry called on citizens to participate in trying to achieve the goal of halving the amount of food wasted by 2030.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

First “Food Outlet” in Croatia Opens in Zagreb

This new Croatian “food outlet” will knock food items, hygiene products, and cleaning products to prices that are 50% - 90% off - while helping the larger problem of food waste in Croatia and throughout the world.