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France: Unsold Food to be Donated to Charity

By Hope Imaka – EMTV Online

Poverty is a worldwide crisis that all countries face on a daily basis. An even bigger issue, however, is waste management control.

How do you tackle both issues without stretching yourself too far?

In a recent consensus conducted by the leaders of France, new legislation has been passed that requires all major supermarkets to donate to charity, or give up for animal feed, all unsold food items.

The law that was passed unanimously by the country’s leaders was a drive to halve the 7.1 million tonnes of food waste that the country produces each year; some of which is intentionally destroyed by retailers to prevent ‘dumpster diving’ by those in need.

Under the new law, supermarkets over 4,305 sq ft in size will have until July to sign contracts with charities or face harsh penalties; supermarkets that refuse to abide by this new law will have to face fines of up to €75,000 (US $82,324) and two years in jail.

The law comes at a time when major supermarkets have been found to douse food products with bleach as they throw out goods in supermarket dumpsters just before their due-date, to prevent it being retrieved from the homeless, poor families and students who aren’t able to feed themselves.

“It’s scandalous to see bleach being poured into supermarket dustbins along with edible foods,” said socialist deputy, Guillaume Garot, a former food minister who proposed the bill.

Furthermore, the law serves to educate consumers on the issue of food wastage. From the 7.1 million tonnes of food wastage produced in France alone, 11 per cent is trashed by retailers, but a massive 67 per cent is thrown out by consumers—at a fairly incredible national cost of €20 billion (US $21.95 billion) each year.

Around 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted each year around the globe; which according to the World Bank, estimates between one-quarter and one-third of all food produced. Studies have shown that food wastage cuts can feed one billion hungry people.

Love Food; Hate Waste.

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