More and more European Countries are now making it mandatory for supermarkets to donate their leftover produce to the needy instead of it going to waste.
This week, Italy has voted to change the law to make supermarkets donate their waste food to charities and food banks. This follows France, which in February passed a similar law requiring food that was past its sell-by date to be donated.
However, the countries differ in how they will enforce the law, with France opting to force offending shops to pay a fine, whereas Italy will reduce their rubbish tax as an incentive.
“We are making it more convenient for companies to donate than to waste. We currently recover 550 million tonnes of excess food each year but we want to arrive at one billion in 2016.” – Italy’s Agriculture Minister, Maurizio Martina
In the UK, two of the largest supermarkets, Tesco and Morrisons, have also voluntarily stated that they will begin donating unwanted food to charity, and in Germany there are hundreds of local collaborations where shops and restaurants donate their unwanted food, such as the Berliner Tafel which has run for more than 20 years.
This all fits in with several larger trends happening throughout Europe, and other developing countries. It’s a sign not only of some industries being disrupted, but also of the changing tastes and values of consumers.
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