Wed 08 June 2022:
Spain adopted a legislation on Tuesday to combat food waste, with fines of up to €500,000 ($535,000) for non-compliance.
“It is a pioneering legal instrument to combat inefficiency in the food chain that has economic, social, environmental and ethical consequences,” Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food Minister Luis Planas said after the council meeting.
The initiative is set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2023, and it requires that all enterprises in the supply chain have a plan in place to reduce losses and divert food to other uses, with human consumption taking priority.
Businesses with less than 1,300 square meters (around 14,000 square feet) will be excluded from the need to have this plan, Planas said.
In 2020, around 1,433 tons of food — an average of 31 kilograms (68 pounds) per person — were thrown away by Spanish households, according to data by the Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Ministry.
Planas noted that 20% of food losses occurred throughout the chain, and 40% in retail sales or in homes.
The Food Loss and Waste Prevention Bill obliges the catering companies to provide consumers free of charge with the possibility to take away the food that they have not consumed and to have reusable or easily recyclable containers available for food.
“This law aims to regulate and raise awareness,” he said. “Regulate the preferential use of food for human consumption and its donation to food banks and raise awareness in society as a whole to avoid food loss and waste.”
A company might be fined between €2,000 and €60,000 for failing to have a food loss and waste prevention strategy, which is considered a serious violation.
A fine of about €60,000-€500,000 is imposed on a firm that commits a second or subsequent significant infraction within two years.
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