Sunday, December 4

The Government wants to fine up to 500,000 euros to bars and supermarkets that repeatedly throw food


Madrid

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The Government has approved this Tuesday the preliminary draft of the Law for the Prevention of Losses and Food Waste, by which it intends to financially punish the food waste. It proposes sanctions of up to 60,000 euros for those catering and food sales premises that do not have a food loss and waste prevention plan, which will be considered as a serious offense. In the event that this serious infraction is repeated within a period of two years, the fine may rise up to 500,000 euros.

Thus, the agents of the food chain must follow the following hierarchy with the products that are not sold: allocate them first to the human consumption donationtransform those that have not been sold but are still suitable for human consumption into alternative products, allocate them to animal feed and feed manufacturing, to their use as by-products of another industry and lastly, recycling and, specifically, obtaining compost for use in soils, only when all of the above is not possible.

All the agents of the food chain have the obligation to follow this hierarchy, it contemplates the blueprintalthough it leaves the door open for the actions to be adapted according to the specific characteristics of the sector.

The rule classifies offenses in mild, serious and very serious. The leevs are those consisting in not applying the hierarchy stipulated to avoid food waste and not justifying why, not having the means to guarantee the donation of products that are not consumed despite being suitable, expressly preventing by contract that food be donated, not deliver the products to disadvantaged people in the case of non-profit organizations that are dedicated to donating food or that in the distribution of these foods there is discrimination for reasons of age, sex, disability , sexual orientation, etc. The fines in these cases will be up to 2,000 euros.

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The serious ones, meanwhile, consist of not having a food waste prevention plan or carrying out two or more minor infractions within two years. In these cases, sanctions of between 2,001 and 60,000 euros are contemplated. Very serious infractions, meanwhile, will be between 60,0001 and 500,000 euros.

take away leftovers

Thus, catering companies and other food service providers will also be obliged to make it easier for the customer to take away the food that they have not consumed without this entailing an additional cost. The possibility of taking away these leftovers must be visible to the consumer, preferably on the menu and the premises must use containers suitable for food use, reusable or easily recyclable. In addition, they must have the means to ensure that unsold food is donated through a convention to charity.

In addition, the hotel industry must “promote the incorporation of sustainable purchasing criteria”, that is, offering fresh, seasonal, local or organic food “to reduce the environmental footprint and promote the local economy”. The rule also calls for the promotion of flexible menus, so that customers can choose side dishes or portions of different sizes.

For their part, companies that sell food to the final consumer, that is, supermarkets, must have infrastructures that allow them to carry out handling, storage and transport processes that minimize food losses, develop protocols tominimize lossesencourage the sale of products with a preferred consumption or expiration date and, in the case of retail stores, have a line of “ugly”, “imperfect” or “unattractive” products for sale, as well such as promoting the consumption of seasonal, local and organic products.

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The law is intended prevent and reduce losses and food waste by all agents in the food chain, with a hierarchy of priorities favoring the donation of food and the feeding of the most vulnerable population. Its purposes, states the bill, are to encourage the donation of food, promote the recovery and distribution of food surpluses with priority for human use and promote research and innovation in the field of prevention and reduction of food waste.

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