French ban on throwing away food raises the question: would we want a similar law in the UK?

8th February 2016

France has now passed the law, voted unanimously in the French Senate last week, which forces supermarkets to donate their surplus food to charity. So, would we want a similar law in the UK?

Voluntary action:

  • FareShare believes that the best results are obtained when food companies realise the potential and the benefits linked to redistribution. Voluntary action in food redistribution by the food industry has already proven to bring benefits for the environment and the community. Last year, FareShare provided enough food for 17.7 million meals for people in need.
  • FareShare already works with retailers and manufacturers to redistribute good food from their supply chain to charities supporting people in need. Our experience tells us that food surplus is not solely a supermarket issue. In fact, the majority of surplus food is further up the supply chain. Through close collaboration between suppliers, logistics partners and FareShare, the supermarkets play an important role in introducing operational process that diverts surplus products for redistribution.
  • Anticipating surplus products in the supply chain means that it can be managed more effectively and diverted immediately, rather than continuing further along the supply chain. We have therefore developed the FareShare Food Efficiency Framework, a step-by-step approach that establish processes and systems that anticipate and identify surplus food within their operations and make it available for charities such as FareShare.

Government Intervention:

  • The UK Government can play a significant role in trying to achieve waste minimisation and a fairer system that promotes surplus redistribution in the food industry. Food redistribution must be seen as an important piece of the puzzle to reduce food waste overall.
  • Currently in the UK, instead of surplus food being used to feed people, many food manufacturers, processors and suppliers dispose of that food via anaerobic digestion (AD) or provide it for animal feed. Those same manufacturers and suppliers tell us that the costs of food disposal via these methods are cheaper than providing surplus food for charity food redistribution.
  • There are currently a number of Government incentives to support AD. While we support this, these same incentives do not exist for feeding people – so we’re asking the Government to bring in a level playing field and ensure that it is cheaper for food businesses to redistribute food than to throw it away.
  • France currently, partly with government funding, redistributes 20 times more surplus food than the UK – we need wide spread support in order to try and match this achievement as an ambition.

Hands holding bread. James Darling. (2) 2013

“Currently in the UK, instead of surplus food being used to feed people, many food manufacturers, processors and suppliers dispose of that food via anaerobic digestion (AD) or provide it for animal feed.”


16th November 2017

Wash up with Fairy and help provide a meal to someone in need

We’ve teamed up with Fairy and Tesco, for an exclusive Christmas promotion to help provide meals for people in need.

Read more...

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