The European Federation of Food Banks (Feba), FoodDrinkEurope and EuroCommerce have this morning launched a new guide to encourage and make it easier for food manufacturers and retailers to donate their food surpluses to food banks.
With around 100 million tonnes of food wasted annually in the European Union (EU), preventing waste in the food chain is a key priority for manufacturers, retailers and wholesalers, the three companies said in a joint statement.
The new guidelines give practical and straightforward answers to questions that businesses wanting to donate food have, outlining which surplus food can be donated and to whom, which information on food donations needs to be documented, and legislation regarding the donation of food that has passed its best before date.
“We need to recover more nutritious food to support more vulnerable people and [do it] better,” said Feba secretary general Patrick Alix. “I hope than an increasing number of food businesses will adopt those guidelines and engage with our food banks to take proactive steps to support those experiencing poverty.”
Mella Frewen, director-general of FoodDrinkEurope, said: “Of course, we need to tackle the root causes of food waste first and foremost, all along the food chain. However, when food surpluses do occur, we all agree they should be redistributed as much as possible to food banks. With these very practical guidelines, we are simply turning our words into action and encouraging more food companies to best use their surpluses.”
And Christian Verschueren, director-general of EuroCommerce, added: “We are all committed to making sure that wholesome and nutritious food is not wasted. Not only do our members donate to food banks and other social organisations, many of them help food banks and charity organisations with logistics. These very useful guidelines show how best to donate food, and many examples of good practice. We hope that these will inspire others to follow the path many retailers and wholesalers have already adopted.”
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