Tech & Science point of view. "Food waste: France must resume the initiative! "

11:18  16 october  2021
11:18  16 october  2021 Source:   ouest-france.fr

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France has become the world's first country to ban supermarket waste and compel large retailers to donate unsold food . While many charities hail the legislation, some worry about their capacity to handle the extra food . In a refrigerated room of the massive Carrefour supermarket in western Paris, director Soed Toumi points to carts piled high with food : Packs of yoghurt and pudding, slightly stale pastries, and baguettes. In a matter of hours, the food will be carted away for distribution to the needy.

Food waste is thought to consume a quarter of all water used by agriculture, and to occupy a cropland space the size of China. It also generates around 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than Europe’s share of global emissions. As the connection between food waste and hunger percolates up the policy-making chain, activists sense a rare opportunity to make legislative gains. Multinationals including Nestle and Tesco also welcomed the new benchmark as an aid to data collection and new food production initiatives .

« Depuis le 1er juillet, les restaurants ont l’obligation de permettre aux clients d’emporter les restes de leur plat. Qu’en pensent les clients et les professionnels du secteur ? » © Getty Images / iStockPhoto " Since July 1st, restaurants have the obligation to allow customers to take the remains of their dish. What do customers and professionals think?

This October 16 is the National Day of Food Fighting. For Guillaume Garot, MP, author of a report on the subject, "France must take advantage of the next few months to lay the groundwork for a European cope of food waste."

"In the fight against food waste, France has been on the front line for almost ten years now. The law of 2016, first of its kind, was a determining milestone. But we are mostly lucky, in our territories, from thousands of companies, associations and citizens who engage in this cause . We must rejoice in the dissemination of this "antigaspi culture" in our country, while 30% of global food production is still thrown or wasted every year.

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France wastes 7m tonnes of food annually. Supermarket chain Carrefour, above, agreed the law would help increase food donations. Photograph: Gary Calton/The Observer. This means the food must be given out at a proper food bank or centre, where human contact and conversation is fostered, rather than, for example, simply organised as handoutson the street. Crucially the law will also make it simpler for the food industry to give some excess products directly to food banks from factories.

French supermarkets will be banned from throwing away or destroying unsold food and must instead donate it to charities or for animal feed, under a law set to crack down on food waste . The French national assembly voted unanimously to pass the legislation as France battles an epidemic of Pressure groups, recycling commandos and direct action foraging movements have been highlighting the issue of waste in France . Members of the Gars’pilleurs, an action group founded in Lyon, don gardening gloves to remove food from supermarket bins at night and redistribute it on the streets the

In France, the tools exist, and the mobilization is strong. In short, the public authorities have all the cards in hand to make things happen, and achieve the objectives set by law in 2020: halving waste in all links in the food chain by 2030.

initiatives Innovative waiting for support

but at a time when we write, things have more enough. The economic and associative actors who have innovative initiatives remain waiting for logistical and financial supports; The quality controls of the supermarket donations and the prohibition of throwing food still consumable are almost non-existent, and prevent optimal implementation of the law; Food education has not progressed at school; And consumers are still faced with the same difficulties in the expiry dates. On all these topics, the answers are ready. What is missing today is a political portage to implement them, both nationally and European.

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Solid waste management is one of the key services every city government must provide with widely variable service levels, costs and environmental impacts. Solid waste generation is also increasing faster than any other environmental pollutant, including CO2. As the world population becomes more GHG emissions from solid waste management have also emerged as a major point of debate as, under current UNFCCC accounting methodologies, they are estimated to account for 3% of the overall global GHG emissions, primarily from methane from landfills.1 However, recent studies demonstrate

Yet, food continues to be lost and wasted . This year we have witnessed an increase in food loss and waste as a result of movement and transport restrictions due to the pandemic. COVID-19 aside, however, each year about 14 percent of the world's food is lost before even reaching the market. "Innovative postharvest treatment, digital agriculture and food systems and re-modelling market channels offer huge potential to tackle the challenges of food loss and waste . We have just built a partnership with IBM, Microsoft and the Vatican to empower Artificial Intelligence in all these areas

Because part of the answer is indeed to look for the EU side.

Thus, on the specific subject of consumer dates, it is the European Regulation "Inco" which lists the commodities that do not have dates, such as salt and vinegar. For many years, I have been proposing that this list be extended to other foods, including dry products such as rice, pasta, cereals ... The European Green Deal, presented in 2020, also plans to change the regulations. On consumer dates, responsible for 10% of food waste in Europe. As elected on these topics, I mobilize for this new regulation to be adopted as quickly as possible, and several Member States already intervene in this direction.

France must be on the initiative, while it will chair the Council of the EU in January 2022.

for a "European COP of Food Waspillage"

October 16, National Day of the Fight Against Waspillage Food is an opportunity to call for action: France must take advantage of the next few months to lay the groundwork for a "European Copy of Food Waspillage", at the crossroads of climate and solidarity issues.

It is useful to remember that if food waste was a country, it would be the world's third greenhouse gas transmitter behind China and the United States. Fight against food waste is a big step for the climate and against food precariousness that keeps gaining ground. France has the means: next step, Europe! »

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This is interesting!