Germany launched a drive to halve food waste by 2030 as research shows every person on average throws away 55 kilograms (120 pounds) of foodstuff a year.
The new strategy would target households, producers, retailers and the restaurant industry to get them to cut down the 11 million tons of food wasted a year.
The campaign would aim to help Germany meet UN and EU targets and reduce its climate footprint, said Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Minister Julia Kloeckner.
“Every product contains valuable resources: water, energy, raw materials, but also labour, care and heart and soul.”
New research will look to develop “intelligent packaging” that could use a colour gradient to indicate whether food is still edible or past its use-by date.
Companies will be urged to take voluntary measures, such as fine-tuning delivery chains and appropriate portion sizes in restaurants, the ministry said.
The opposition Greens party, who have long urged a shift away from industrial-scale toward organic agriculture, criticized the strategy as too little too late.
Their veteran lawmaker Renate Kuenast demanded not “voluntary commitments and round tables” from the food industry but “binding obligations”.