Picture by GabrielaP93

The Idea

Different local authorities are implementing new rules for supermarkets to give their unsold food to charities (i.e. new clause in environmental permits in Belgium). There are also tax reductions for in-kind donations in different countries that apply to large food retailers (case in France). These policies can help lower down the amount of food being wasted while providing access to food for the most deprived persons; meanwhile citizen organizations such as foodbanks remain keystones in this process.


Over 90 million tons of food are wasted in the EU each year, of which at least a quarter is edible, while the current EU food programme disperses around 400.000 tons of food a year. There is still a large potential to avoid food waste while providing food for the most deprived. The retailer industry needs to be associated in this process. Indeed, according to the French CRIOC (Information and Research Centre for Consumers organizations), supermarkets may be responsible for 4% of total national food waste.


HERSTAL (Belgium) Integration of a new clause on food waste in the local Environmental Permit

  • Measure: The Municipality of Herstal (Liège Province) has introduced a new clause on food waste in its local environment permit. Since July 2012, every supermarket renewing its environmental permit has to offer its unsold food to identified local charity food banks. From one supermarket in mid 2012, this new regulation will affect 12 other supermarkets in 2013.
  • Impact: The Liege Food Bank supplies 86 local associations that work with more than 18,600 impoverished persons.
  • Replicability: The Mayor and Eurodeputy of the locality (Frédéric Daerden) has made a proposal to the European Commission to replicate this measure at the Euro Level. Different other local municipalities in Wallonia and Belgium intend to take similar actions (Namur/ Bruxelles)

More info: here and there

FRANCE Tax-reduction for in-kind donations

  • Measure: According to the Fiscal law, supermarkets can donate products before their use-by-date to local food Banks and get a tax-reduction up to 60% of the product cost. Moreover, if they carry themselves the products to the associations, they can also get a 60% fiscal reduction on the transportation costs.
  • Requirements: Donated products have to be kept fresh in an adapted storage room. The retailer has to respect hygienic and temperature usual conditions until the association’s pick-up or the retailer’s self-delivery (no cold chain break).

More info: http://actuwiki.fr/environnement/7735

Other Resources

European Parliament resolution of 19 January 2012 on how to avoid food wastage: strategies for a more efficient food chain in the EU The European Federation of Food Banks http://www.eurofoodbank.eu/portail/index.php?option=com_content&view=frontpage&Itemid=13&lang=en" rel="external nofollow">FEBA Institutional partnerships with ANDES, the French network of social groceries