17.06.2015 - 16:12

French supermarkets have to donate expired food

From now on, France takes action against food wasting: An amendment to the law that prohibits supermarkets to throw food away has been adopted unanimously by the French National Assembly.


Furthermore, food shops with an area of more than 400 square metres have to make an agreement with an aid organisation at the latest by 1st of July 2016. The expired food is then distributed by the aid organisation. Everything that isn’t edible anymore is processed into compost or animal feed. In schools, lessons against food wasting will be included in the curriculum.

„It’s scandalous to throw food away while others suffer from hunger“, says the socialist deputy Guillaume Garot who had the idea for the law. The new law is criticized by the commerce: as supermarkets would only be responsible for five per cent of all discarded food, the measures missed their target. Most food is wasted in households: 20 to 30 kilograms of food per person end up in the waste in France every year.

The food banks („Banques alimentaires“) that are comparable to the German „Tafeln“ announce that the new law would strengthen the partnership between them and the supermarkets, which already existed for a long time. 35 per cent of the food distributed by food banks originates from supermarkets.

In France, the demand for food is growing: The number of deprived persons increases as unemployment is at a record high. The new law will in particular benefit them.

Although French supermarkets support the intention of the legislative initiative, they are not enthusiastic about the expense they will have to bear resulting from it.

Do we also need such a law in Germany?

Already for some years now, many supermarkets in Germany voluntarily donate their expired food to food banks, without a need of law. It was a “well-functioning, sophisticated and proven system“ said Jochen Brühl, Chairman of the German Food Bank Federation. With its campaign “Too good for the tonne”, also the federal government fights against dumping of food. Nevertheless, industry, commerce, major consumers and private households throw away more than 11 million tons of food every year. Therefore, Change.org has started a petition, aiming at a legal regulation also in Germany. Here you can sign it: https://www.change.org/p/an-den-bundesminister-f%C3%BCr-ern%C3%A4hrung-und-landwirtschaft-gesetzliche-regelung-gegen-die-lebensmittelverschwendung