Initiatives on prevention of food waste in the retail and wholesale trades

image of Initiatives on prevention of food waste in the retail and wholesale trades

This project was initiated by the Nordic Council of Ministers and its waste prevention group. The background to the project is that waste prevention is the highest priority in the waste hierarchy according to the EU Waste Directive. One other reason is the heavily increasing discussions in society on food waste in general. The project has been focusing on amounts of food waste, causes for food waste generation and initiatives to reduce the amounts of food waste from the retail and wholesale sector. Furthermore it gives some recommendations to measures that could be taken to change the present situation.



Description of the retail and wholesale sector

Common to all Nordic countries is that the market is dominated by a few very large retail and wholesale chains. In each country the four largest chains have between 80–100 % of the market. Common is also that all the large chains has their own wholesale companies/branch that are distributing food to the shops. Certain products such as fresh dairy products, beer and beverages, fresh fish and fresh bakery products are however normally distributed outside this system. Table 1 presents the turnover and number of shops in each country.


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