Source: eKapija | Monday, 21.12.2015.| 13:13
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Someone's leftovers are everything for someone else - France adopts Law on donating surplus food from trading chains - Delhaize starts activity in Serbia

(Photo: Lisa S./
It is estimated that in Serbia 26,1% of population lives below the poverty limit which is on the average a quarter of total population and kids younger than 14 are mainly affected. In Europe, the percentage is lower for only one percent and totals 25%, while 90 million tons of food is thrown away.

France has recently adopted the law which governs that large supermarkets must donate food extras instad of destroying it through chemical processes which has been practice so far. The frst steps of this initiative were made in Serbia as well.

Namely, trading chains Maxi and Tempo thought of a program of donating food surplus which provides every day fruit and vegetables for nutrition of 1.800 poorest citizens in Serbia. Thanks to cooperation with non-governmental organization of the Food Bank through the program called We help to the ones who do not have – to have, Maxi and Tempo donate app. 40 tons of food per month.

With the initial cooperation with the Food Bank through the project, Delhaize Srbija is making the first steps in helping solving the poverty and hunger issue through efficient usage of food surplus in a way which has been effective in Europe for years.

At the moment, 62 shops of Delhaize Srbija, Maxi and Tempo, at the end of every day sets aside fruit and vegetables which is not sold through the Food Bank and partner organizations and donates to poor families and individuals.

Nadica Blazic from Plava skoljka (Blue shell) organization, association of single parnets and families of the disabled people says that she is happy for the fact that their kids participate in donation since at the moment we deliver food and vegetables to them, it would be clear for everybody knowing that someone thinks about them.

- This program of Delhaize is of great help for everyday functioning of the Home for kids. Since Home does not have its own kitchen, this kind of donation fits us since kids have the chance to eat fruit as a snack before they go to school and thus take valuable food. Apart from that, we can redirect this help to their parents as well who live in condition of extreme poverty so that they would have chance to prepare means for them - Mina Lukic from the Center for integration of the youth comprising the Home for Kids, says.

Hungry in the world

It is the world paradox that at the same time there is a large number of the hungry and that edible food is spent and thrown away. It is alarming that in Serbia, 250 000 tons of food is thrown away. Although there is no legal regulation in Serbia which governs the activity, there is a huge interest of the public for this kind of support.

Delhaize Srbija says they are implementing the project on their own using experience from other European countries. Other big trading chains, according to our findings, are not planning to participate in the activity as for now.

As a reminder, in early July, the European Parliament invited all EU countries to adopt the laws as soon as possible which would enable supermarkets to give all unsold food for humanitarian purposes intead of throwing it away. Thus, the European Parliament , within the resolution on circular economy, accepted amendment which supports laws in EU countries which would enable distribution of unsold food to charity organizations.

French example

French parliament, two days ago, unanimously adopted the Law which implies that large supermarkets will have to donate food surpluses in humanitarian purposes instead of destroying it through chemical processes the way it was now.

This move was approved by different social groups for environment protection, volunteer and food organizations whose activists invite for all similar laws in the world.

According to this law, supermarkets will have to take necessary steps to prevent food throwing away so they will be forced to donate unsold but edible food for humanitarian purposes or as animal food. They wil donate the one which is least usable for composting. Supermarkets greater than 400 m2 will have to sign contracts with humanitarian institutions on donating surplus stocks.

The fact that the French throw away 20 to 30kg per person, which is estimated at EUR 12 to 20 billion annually shows how good the decision is. With this measure, the French government wants to cut the figures in half by 2025 and it was be even more if this activity becomes practice in all states.

British supermarkets also had practice to destroy industrial chemicals food whose shelf life expired and that it now banned by the Law, Independent reports.

A few attempts of punishment prosecution in Great Britain have been recorded in the past few years for the people who were taking food thrown away from supermarkets, despite the fact they are socially most endangered ones such as the homeless.

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