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Food waste, France thinks about forbidding it for wholesale

  •   July 16th, 2015
  •   Category: News
  •   Posted by: Ecodyger

We already had the pleasure of dealing with this important subject in our article “The four solutions to food waste” (link). Given the great success and topicality of this subject thanks to EXPO 2015, we’d like to follow through this new study.

Food waste in European politics

The issue of food waste is the focus of intense debates ranging from the scientific ones to the political ones, influencing the political agenda of many countries of the European community and the world.

All major international organizations have launched in recent years specific initiatives on the subject, we recall the main and most important among them to better understand the scope of this situation:

All helping to raise attention to the need and urgency to establish a common framework for the identification and preparation of effective policies to reduce food losses and waste throughout the supply chain.

The pressure on the environment and natural resources exerted by the agribusiness field (UNEP 2010, European Commission 2006), the prospects for growth of the world population and the gradual change of nutrition regimes in many countries towards food diets of greater consumption of products with a animal (FAO 2012) is undoubtedly one of the main elements that have favored the growth and attention to the issue of food waste.

The continuing and in many cases the worsening of food insecurity and poverty in many countries and regions of the world (FAO 2014) raises questions on the impact of food waste on food security globally (CFS 2013).

In parallel, the continued growth in demand for bio-fuels, contributes to further accelerate the international competition for the use of agricultural land and water resources. The last 15 years, not surprisingly, have seen an unprecedented race to hoard huge tracts of arable land in developing countries at the expense of security and food sovereignty of local populations.

This phenomenon is widely known as “land grabbing“.

Europe, the example of France

Wanting to find a practical example of the policies mentioned above, we find the perfect example of France.
France seems to face a turning point with regard to policies to combat food waste. In this regard the European Parliament, in 2012, has set a goal for 2025: to halve food waste.

The good will, the advice to the population and also the French national anti-waste Pact of 2013 are not sufficient and if you want to reduce the problem must make a quantum leap. Put each in front of their responsibilities, from the agricultural producer to the consumer, through processors and distributors.
In the country, it is under discussion and short of approval a bill to ban the GDO mass retailers, to throw the so-called “unsold” and the obligations to donate food still edible and consumable.

Each year a person wastes 140 Kg of food

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In the country of the revolution, the food that ends up in the trash each year is quantified between 20 and 30 kilograms per person, but it goes up to 140 kg per capita if you extend the statistic on the whole long food chain. In short, the consumer is only the end of a chain that – per capita – waste between 110 and 120 kilograms of food.

A huge amount, an unacceptable waste ethically, economically and ecologically for a world that continues to be measured in hundreds of millions of the hungry that populate the planet.

According to the ADEME – Agence de l’environnement et de la maîtrise de l’énergie, the value of the wasted food is about 159 euro per year and per person. This means between 12 and 20 billion euro a year if we speak only of France. And don’t be mistaken, countries like Germany, England and Italy are perfectly in line with this data.

What can be done?

The cornerstones of the contrast to food waste should be two:

1) The prohibition of throwing food to supermarkets.

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It is a legitimate ban because there is a range of alternatives to avoid waste. It is an incentive to better manage their stock and, later, to enhance the unsold both in the form of gift for animal feed or for the production of energy.

In this regard, we point out what is already being done in Sicily with the so-called “pastrazzo” or the spread of citrus processing. Transform this waste into clean energy is the goal of the special pilot plant built by the Sicilian citrus fruits district and the University of Catania.

2) The obligation to give away unsold food if still consumable.

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In this case, there are many charities that can take up the distribution of unsold food to people in need. Associations no longer have to deal with separate what is consumable by what it is not because this will provide direct chains of big retail chains.

Doggy bag

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Then there is the issue of cultural bloc, typically European, of the “doggy bag” when you go to the restaurant. Monsieur Guillaume Garot, the deputy chosen by the French minister to resolve the issue, hopes there will be commitments to bring down this taboo in restaurants, fast food and self service.

If you were lucky enough to travel a bit in the east, you may have noticed this habit is rather typical and consolidated in all of these countries from the Great China to Vietnam.

In this regard, he is trying to “entice” the restaurateurs and producers to propose doggy bag specially designed for this purpose, making them more practical, roomy and – why not – personalized.

It would not be so bad to walk on the street and show a “sponsored” bag by the restaurant contributing to not waste the leftover food.

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We’s like to conclude by saying and sharing the concept that food waste is a luxury of the past that the wasteful West cannot take anymore and France before others, seem to have already understood this.