Innovative Steps to Reduce Food Waste in Italy

Food waste bin photo

An article in the New Food magazine discusses the steps that the Italian Government have taken to deal with Food Waste by easing some of the stringent Health and Safety laws that prevent left-over food been donated to certified food charities etc.

How big is the problem of food waste?

As we know, the issue is not solely confined to Italy. The UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) estimates that a staggering one third of food may be wasted on a global scale – a figure that allegedly rises to 40% in Europe.

Removing risk of Health and Safety Violation

By removing the risk that businesses might be violating health and safety laws when donating food slightly past its sell-by-date, the Italian Senate has ensured that only one simple form needs to be filled out per month for the legal donation of food and farmers too will be able to offload excess produce for no additional charge.

Further to this, the agricultural ministry has pledged to spend €1m on researching innovative ways to avoid damage to goods in transit and extend shelf life, as well as an informative public campaign that will aim to educate the Italian population on how to best reduce food waste.

Better than French law?

 Similar to a French campaign in which supermarkets were fined for throwing away food, the crucial difference in Italy remains that businesses have an incentive to tackle food waste as opposed to the imposition of punitive measures.

It remains to be seen whether or not the new law will have a lasting impact on fighting against the issue.

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