! Spanish News Today – Spanish government cracks down on food waste in restaurants and supermarkets
The aim is to reduce food waste in Spain and establishments that flout the new law will be fined
Billions of kilos of uneaten food are thrown away every year by restaurants, supermarkets and households in Spain, prompting the government to implement a new law that will fine establishments that continue of “wasting food”.
Under the new Food Loss and Waste Prevention Act, hotels and restaurants must offer guests the option to take leftovers home at no extra cost and in ‘doggy bags’ made from recyclable packaging. .
During a press conference following a meeting of the Council of Ministers, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Luis Planas, stressed that “the pioneering legal instrument” aims to “regulate and raise awareness” and to prevent “food chain inefficiency” which has economic, environmental and social consequences.
Only France and Italy have similar regulations in the EU to reduce food waste in shops and homes by 40% and a further 20% within the food chain itself to avoid “possible food crisis in the future”.
The legislation will tackle waste throughout the food chain, from harvest to consumption.
In addition, companies will have to stipulate the destination of food to avoid waste on the principle that “the absolute priority will always be human consumption through the donation or redistribution of food”.
In order to donate food surpluses, agreements must be signed with companies, social initiative entities and other non-profit organizations or food banks. These agreements must specify, among other things, the conditions of collection, transport and storage of the products.
When the foodstuffs are no longer fit for human consumption, the preferred use will be, in this order; animal feed and manufacture of animal feed; use as by-products in other industries; or to obtain compost or biofuels.
“All sectors of the industry will need to have a prevention plan that includes self-diagnosis from which to adopt measures to minimize losses, which in 2020 reached 1.3 billion kilos of food in households, an average 31 kilos per person”, added the Minister of Agriculture.
The bill was submitted to a public hearing and four participatory forums were organized for consumers and NGOs, distribution and the HORECA chain, industry and the primary sector.
Image: European Commission