Swedish voluntary agreement for reduction of food waste
A voluntary agreement between the actors in the food value chain. It is also a part of the Swedish government’s investment in the food strategy.
40 percent of all food produced is thrown away instead of being eaten
Generally, food production accounts for around 20–30 per cent of global climate emissions. Food production affects the environment by contributing to eutrophication and the spread of chemicals via pesticides and fertilizers. Food production also harms biodiversity and contributes to the overexploitation of resources.
There is, therefore, every reason to work for reduced food waste!
Cooperation brings success
On March 12, 2020, the Swedish voluntary agreement for reduction of food waste was launched. It is an agreement between actors in the food value chain and is part of the government’s investment in the food strategy. This collaboration will contribute to achieving the UN’s sustainability goal 12.3 to halve global food waste by 2030. It will also work to fulfil Sweden’s national action plan for reduced food waste.
Voluntary agreements between food industry players have proven successful in other European countries. For example, in Great Britain External link, opens in new window. and Norway, a significant reduction in food waste has been achieved by collaborating along the entire value chain of the food industry.
In Sweden, the agreement has the name SAMS – short for Samarbete för minskat matsvinn (Cooperation for reduced food waste).
In Sweden, more actors join the agreement every year to:
- Save money. Working with your food waste is a good investment! Every penny invested in reducing food waste can be expected to be returned 14 times over.
- Reduce their climate and environmental impact by learning more about new technology, circular flows, and industrial symbiosis from prominent researchers.
- Work together. If we want to reduce food waste, we need to collaborate throughout the entire value chain, develop practical aids and exchange knowledge to create food from what would otherwise be thrown away.
- Get a handle on food waste. Standardized measurement and reporting provide better knowledge of one’s food waste.
- Get news. The agreement conveys the latest news about food waste from industry and research.
- Increase equality in the food chain. Globally, there are both famines and problems with obesity. Resources must be reallocated. The agreement works with these issues in Sweden, including donations.
- Contribute to Sweden’s self-sufficiency. If we reduce the waste of resources and create new value chains, we can increase the return from Swedish food production without significant effort.