In France, on February 11th, 2016, a law was promulgated to empower and mobilize growers, processors, retail stores, caterers, charitable organizations and consumers to fight against food waste.
The law covers three main aspects. First, supermarkets with a footprint of 400 sq meters or more will have to sign donation contracts with charities. Second, manufacturers or products under private label will not be prevented from donating their surplus to charitable organizations. Third, a penalty of €3,750 will be imposed to supermarkets which make edible food products unfit for human consumption.
The law will be enforced from February 11th, 2017 onwards.
Jacques Bailet, President of the French Federation of Food Banks, commented on the new law: “As supermarkets will be obliged to sign a donation agreement with charities, even if many others already exist, we’ll be able to increase the quality and diversity of food we get and distribute,” he said. “In terms of nutritional balance, we currently have a deficit of meat and fruit and vegetables. This will hopefully allow us to push for those products.”
Campaigners now hope to persuade the EU to adopt similar legislation across member states.