Every year in Europe, more and more perfectly healthy and edible foodstuffs (up to 50 % according to some estimates) are wasted all along the agri-foodstuffs chain, including at the consumer stage, and become rubbish. A study published by the Commission indicates that some 89 million tonnes of food waste (179 kg per person) are produced in the 27 Member States every year.
At the same time, 16 million European citizens are dependent on food aid, and the budget of the European food aid programme is increasingly under threat of cuts, when it should be continued and stepped up.
When dealing with applications for the renewal of supermarkets’ environmental licences, and seeking to respond to the problem of food waste, the town of Herstal (Belgium) has decided that all such firms should be required, before processing or recycling foodstuffs as waste, to redistribute their unsold perishable foodstuffs that are still edible to associations affiliated to the Food Banks Federation, which would redistribute them to the most deprived members of society.
1. Does not the Commission think that if such measures became widespread practice this could contribute to the distribution of foodstuffs to the most disadvantaged people in the Union, as recommended in the European Parliament’s resolution entitled ‘how to avoid food wastage: strategies for a more efficient food chain in the European Union’?
2. If so, how could the Commission transpose the decision of the town of Herstal in a legally binding form to European level?