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Wednesday 17 September 2014

New law to give unsold food to charities

Henry Samuel Paris

Published 08/08/2014 | 02:30

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Dr Jonathon Derham of the Environmental Protection Agency said that Irish people throw away nearly a third of their food every year
Dr Jonathon Derham of the Environmental Protection Agency said that Irish people throw away nearly a third of their food every year

A GROUP of French MPs has tabled a law to make it compulsory for supermarkets to hand over all unsold food still fit for consumption to charity.

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Many supermarket chains in France already donate unsold produce to charities, but 63 MPs from across the political spectrum would like to see the practice enshrined in law.

Late last month, they tabled a draft bill making it compulsory for supermarkets with 1,000 square metres of floor space to give their "unsold but still consumable food products to at least one food charity".

Belgium became the first European country to introduce a similar law in May. The move followed proposals by the EU to scrap compulsory "best before" labels on coffee, rice, dry pasta, hard cheeses, jams and pickles to help reduce the estimated 100 million tonnes of food wasted in Europe each year.

The French MPs believe that, despite a "national pact against food wastage" launched in the country last year, measures preventing still-edible food being thrown away are "insufficient".

They cited a World Food Organisation estimate that a third of food products on the planet still fit for human consumption were "lost or wasted".

The MPs said they were targeting larger food chains as their "logistics and important stock" made it easier for them to organise donations. In France alone, each supermarket produces 200 tonnes of waste per year. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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