October 16 was the National Day Against Food Waste in France. On this occasion, the National Follow-up Committee on the National Pact Against Food Waste, which brings together all food service industries and relevant government agencies, met to set project goals for the coming year.
Food waste is an important contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and France is taking the problem seriously by tackling it across the board, including signing a national pact.
As a reminder, the National Pact Against Food Waste was signed in 2013 and is composed of 11 measures that came out of discussions with all actors in the food chain and based on commitments from all relevant actors.
The meeting introduced by Stéphane Le Foll, French Minister of Agriculture, the Food Industry and Forests was an occasion to highlight the strong mobilization by the entirety of the signing members of the Pact who have implemented numerous actions, notably in the field of restaurants, distribution, supermarkets, agricultural production, the agro-food industry, artisans, environmental associations, charities, and local governments.
The committee meeting was also used to set a road map of the large projects for 2016. Six large projects will be focused on:
- Setting up a working group to examine regulatory changes for expiration or best-use-by date Providing a model agreement for supermarket donations to charities
- Creating a best practices guide for fighting food waste designed for hospitals and medical establishments
- Setting up a working group designed to work with education on fighting food waste and developing educational tools adapted to youth
- Carrying out a study by the Environmental and Energy Efficiency Agency to quantify losses and waste throughout the food production process
- Launching a large-scale awareness campaign on the subject, notably on social networks
Food waste plays an important role in global climate change, so the French government has taken proactive steps to help reduce the percentage of the country’s food that gets thrown out needlessly. Any step toward reducing the effects of food waste on climate change is a step in the right direction, and France is looking at a comprehensive approach to this significant issue.