Have you signed the petition ‘Stop Food Waste in Europe’? I have. It petitioned Vice-President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans to include in the upcoming revised ‘Circular Economy Package’ an obligation for supermarkets to donate their unsold food to charity.
This petition followed a hugely successful petition on Change.org launched by Arash Derambarsh, a municipal councillor from Courbevoie, France, which resulted in France introducing a new law requiring supermarkets to donate unsold food to charity. The petition ‘Stop Food Waste in Europe’ took this campaign from a country to a continent scale and was started in the UK by Tristram Stuart, the founder of Feedback; ‘an environmental organisation that campaigns to end food waste at every level of the food system’.
At the time of writing the petition has 672, 513 signatories with the aim of reaching 1,000,000. The petition runs across 7 EU countries and was launched by a range of food waste campaigners in association with the Action Against Hunger charity and the French Red Cross. Although it has not yet met its numerical target, in July this year it achieved its aim of influencing a resolution making the case for various targets and policies to be included in the European Commission’s upcoming Circular Economy Package in late 2015.
It is hoped that the European Commission will ask member states to instate laws similar to those already passed in France whereby large supermarkets are obliged to have formal agreements with food redistribution charities by July 2016. New French law also states that any food past its sell-by-date is to be sent for composting, anaerobic digestion or used as animal feed, rather than disposal.
As Master Composters, actively engaged in sustainable waste management, many of you may be aware of the problems of food waste on a national and global scale and it is encouraging to see that these issues are now being considered by the European Parliament.
You can still sign the ‘Stop Food Waste in Europe’ petition at https://www.change.org/p/frans-timmermans-stop-food-waste-in-europe-stopfoodwaste and we will await the outcome of the European Commission’s Circular Economy Package later this year.