Among the large world challenges is the need to feed 9 billion people by the year 2050. In the context of crisis, and when the planet still has 842 million people suffering from hunger, fighting waste is more than ever a major issue of our societies. However, every year more than a third of the food produced in the world is lost or wasted.
Beyond the human and ethical aspects, food waste also has a cost for the planet. Each kilogram of food products thrown out automatically leads to the pure loss of considerable amounts of energy which has a direct impact on climate change.
To respond to these major issues, the Minister of Agriculture has mobilized in the following ways:
- A national Anti-Food Waste Pact was signed in June 2013 which has as its objective (repeated and the European level since its start) reducing food waste by half before 2025 and which asks for participation from all of civil society and public authority.
- A parliamentary report called “Fighting against waste – proposals for a public policy” identified numerous routes for improvement. Some of them have already had concrete actions taken:
- Signature of a voluntary charter between the state and large distributors that promotes the donation of unsold food
- The current development of a standard agreement for partnership between distributors and organizations
- Changing the way expiration dates work and how they’re used
- Increasing tax exemptions in the fruit and vegetable industry
Additionally, the National Follow-Up Committee on the Anti-Food Waste Pact has been meeting in Paris this month to establish what has already been done and to create a roadmap for the following year.
Among the things that have already been accomplished include numerous actions at all levels of society, including in the world of food services, food distribution, supermarkets, food production, artisans, local governments, environmental associations and charity groups.
The committee also established the next steps to take in the fight against food waste, including:
- The establishment of a working group to examine changes in regulations on expiration dates
- Providing a model agreement for donations of food from supermarkets to charity organizations
- Setting up a best-practices guide with the goal of fighting against food waste in hospitals and medical centers
- Creating a working group with the goal of creating educational materials against food waste to use with youth and the propose pedagogical materials and practices for teachers
- Commissioning a study by France’s Environmental and Energy Use Agency to quantify the amount lost and wasted during the entire food cycle
- Launching an large awareness campaign on the subject with a focus on social media.