Italian MPs Support New Law Against Food Waste
Italian MPs have approved a new law aimed at curbing food waste and making it easier to distribute unsold products to those in need.
The draft legislation, which needs final approval from the Senate, introduces changes to tax rules that previously acted as a barrier to food donations.
Currently, companies looking to give their excess food to charity must declare their donations in advance, creating a significant bureaucratic burden. With the new law, they will only need to fill out one monthly declaration for all donations made.
The new legislation also relaxes some food safety regulations to enable distribution of products between their 'sell by' and 'use by' dates.
Around €1 million a year will also be allocated to the development of 'intelligent anti-waste’ food packaging, while another €1 million will be invested in a campaign to promote the use of 'doggy bags' in restaurants, so that consumers are encouraged to take home leftover food.
According to food producers association Coldiretti, Italy throws away an estimated €12 billion with of food every year. Households account for just over half that total, followed by restaurants (21 per cent), retailers (15 per cent) and agriculture (8 per cent).
Currently some 550,000 tonnes of food are donated to an estimated six million Italians every year, and the new law aims to double the amount.
© 2016 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Branislav Pekic. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.