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Press release - Thuesday, 28th June 2016

The European Federation of Food Banks, FoodDrinkEurope and EuroCommerce launched this morning a new guide to encourage and make it easier for food manufacturers and retailers to donate their food surpluses to food banks.

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FEBA (European Federation of Food Banks), FoodDrinkEurope and EuroCommerce launched this morning a new guide to encourage and make it easier for food manufacturers and retailers to donate their food surpluses to food banks.

With around 88 million tonnes of food wasted annually in the EU, preventing waste in the food chain is a key priority for food and drink manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers.

The new guidelines give practical and straightforward answers to questions that businesses wanting to donate food have, such as ‘which surplus food can we donate?', ‘can I donate food that has passed its ‘best before’ date?', ‘who can I donate to?’ or ‘which info on my food donations do I need to document?'.

“We need to recover more nutritious food to support more vulnerable people and better. I hope than an increasing number of food businesses will adopt those guidelines and engage with our food banks to take proactive steps to support those experiencing poverty”, declared Patrick Alix, Secretary General of FEBA.

Mella Frewen, Director-General of FoodDrinkEurope, said: “Of course, we need to tackle the root causes of food waste first and foremost, all along the food chain. However, when food surpluses do occur, we all agree they should be redistributed as much as possible to food banks. With these very practical guidelines, we are simply turning our words into action and encouraging more food companies to best use their surpluses."

“We are all committed to making sure that wholesome and nutritious food is not wasted. Not only do our members donate to food banks and other social organisations; many of them help food banks and charity organisations with logistics,” Christian Verschueren, Director-General of EuroCommerce added. “These very useful guidelines show how best to donate food, and many examples of good practice. We hope that these will inspire others to follow the path many retailers and wholesalers have already adopted.”

The joint guidelines contribute to the ongoing EU and global policy discussions on food waste prevention and stimulating the circular economy. They are also part of the initiating organisations’ strong commitment and ongoing efforts to supporting the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 to halve food waste by 2030.

[1] FoodDrinkEurope is the organisation of Europe’s food and drink industry, the largest manufacturing sector and employer in the EU.

[2] FEBA is the European Federation of Food Banks, with 265 food banks in 23 countries, serving 2.9Mil meals/day.

[3] EuroCommerce is the principal European organisation representing the retail and wholesale sector.