Two years after France passed its law to fight food waste – a world first – the results show very positive effects, largely expressed during the Estates General of Food. A regulation that has proved its effectiveness, particularly with charity organizations, and that will soon spread to other parts of the economy, such as institutional catering services in places like schools and nursing homes, and to the entire agro-food industry.

On Feb. 11, 2016, France became the first country in the world to establish strong legislation against food waste. Adopted unanimously by the French Parliament, the law strengthens the engagement of public authorities to reduce by half food loss and waste before 2025.

Its primary measure is to require all supermarkets larger than 400 square meters to establish a partnership with a food aid association to donate their unsold food items instead of throwing them out or destroying them.

©Xavier Remongin/

While the law is celebrating its second anniversary of coming into effect, the positive results are showing themselves: According to the French branch of the United Nations World Food Program “since coming into effect, the law has caused an increase of 22% of donations to food aid associations.”

In the wake of the law, several thousand associations and several start-ups and businesses specialized in the management of unsold food products have organized collection operations with food distributors.

The French example has since been followed by several countries, like Italy, Peru, and Finland. Numerous other countries are very interested in the subject and plan on putting in place equivalent laws.