Procedures for preventing and reducing food loss

  • Meal services
  • Food Loss


Requirements and Criteria Type: 
  • Contract Terms

Main Objective: 

The main purpose is to prevent and reduce food loss, as the Norwegian authorities have undertaken to do under the industry agreement on reduction of food waste, and to help achieve the reduction goals of the industry agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3. Suppliers shall therefore have a quality assurance system with procedures for surveying food loss, initiatives and cooperation in the value chain. 


Requirement Specification: 

For the duration of the contract period, suppliers shall strive to ensure that food loss is kept at the lowest possible level, have plans for surveys and initiatives and update these plans as they gain experience. Suppliers shall also cooperate further up the value chain, as well as contribute to the end user discarding as little food as possible.

Suppliers shall report their measurement data for food loss and food waste, and the quantity of food procured at least once a year to the contracting authority, and on request.  Food loss shall be an item on the agenda for status meetings at least once a year.

Food loss is defined as all edible food produced for humans that is either discarded or removed from the food chain for purposes other than human consumption, from the point in time when the animals or plants are slaughtered or harvested.


Documentation of the Requirement Specification: 

Suppliers shall at any given time have an updated written procedure describing how the supplier will carry out the survey and analysis of food waste and food loss, which is to be produced on request. Suppliers shall also have an updated written plan of their initiatives to prevent and reduce their food loss, as well as opportunities for cooperation in the value chain. 

Suppliers shall also, no later than the signing of the contract, enclose with the contract a signed declaration of endorsement of the industry agreement on reduction of food waste. Suppliers are required to use subcontractors who have also signed such a declaration of endorsement, down to the producer/importer.

Information about the Requirement Specification: 

In accordance with the industry agreement on reduction of food waste, the Norwegian authorities shall prevent and reduce food loss in public enterprises. This means that the procurers should stipulate requirements to the suppliers of meal services to the public sector that include food and beverage, such as catering and canteen services, to help reduce food loss. 

 Surveying and analysing food loss is an important step in reducing food loss. This is necessary in order to introduce effective initiatives, and creating greater awareness will in itself often lead to prevention and less food loss. The fact that the suppliers shall at least once a year present a summary of the food loss and how they have worked on various initiatives will provide the contracting authority with good information about the status and facilitate cooperation to keep the food loss low.

Please note that food loss differs from food waste, which is defined as any organic matter that is not to be consumed and arises in connection with the production of food, such as offcuts, shells, bones, etc. Sometimes food waste is used as a collective term for both food loss (which could at one time have been eaten) and food waste (which could not have been eaten at any time). 


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Published: 11. Mar 2019, Last modified: 31. May 2019