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Retail

Brussels Supermarkets Required To Donate Unsold Food

By Branislav Pekic
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Brussels Supermarkets Required To Donate Unsold Food

From 2024, all supermarkets in Brussels with a sales area of more than 1,000 square metres will be required to donate unsold food that is still edible.

A draft ordinance to this effect, initiated by Alain Maron, Brussels Minister for Social Action (Green Party), was implemented by the local government of the Belgian capital last week.

The legislation relates to all food that is unsold one day before its expiry date, with supermarkets obliged to sign agreements with food aid associations.

Companies are also able to re-use unsold food, or resell it to private individuals, under the legislation.

Although the measure becomes compulsory from next year, many supermarkets are already donating food voluntarily.

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Logistics Platforms

Announcing the decision, Maron explained that making donations compulsory should help to increase the food stocks of charities that help the most disadvantaged.

He pointed out that agreements formally linking supermarkets and beneficiary organisations will help to alleviate the donation process..

Maron added that this would also facilitate the work of the two logistics platforms, Dream and Loco, which are responsible for collecting unsold goods.

Read More: REWE, Aldi, Lidl, Kaufland Among Those To Sign Pact Against Food Waste in Germany

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Food Aid

Maron highlighted the fact that some 70,000 people are in need food aid in Brussels alone, adding that "it is unacceptable that we are still throwing away tonnes of edible food".

According to the minister, on average in Brussels, a typical supermarket donates just over a tonne of consumable food per month, a figure that could be significantly increased.

On a European level, governments are required to reduce food waste by 2030 by 30%.

Read More: Belgian Supermarkets Face Biggest Challenge For Three Decades: Comeos

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