Where does all that unsold food in supermarkets go anyway?
In Italy, that food will go to charities. The country is set to pass a law that’ll make supermarkets donate any unsold food to needy charities. Italy is the second European country to enforce such a law; France introduced a bill in February that forbid grocery stores from tossing unsold, unspoiled food.
While France fines supermarkets for wasting food, Italy will offer incentives to donate food, and help the country’s €12bn waste problem. The new law will offer reductions in waste taxes for supermarkets, depending on how giving they are to charity.
Proportion of food wasted at each stage of the supply chain in Europe, 2010
In the bill, lawmakers also amended food regulations, allowing food stores to donate goods past their ‘Best Before’ date expires.
“We are making it more convenient for companies to donate than to waste,” says Italy’s Agriculture Minister, Maurizio Martina.
“We currently recover 550 million tonnes of excess food each year but we want to arrive at one billion in 2016.”
Italy is jumping aboard the ‘donate over waste’ train just as it gains momentum.
French politician Arash Derambarsh is trying to pass EU-wide legislation forcing supermarkets to give away waste foods.
“The problem is simple – we have food going to waste and poor people who are going hungry,” he said.