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People all over the world throw away nearly 1.3 billion tonnes of food each year. How good would it be if all that food was donated to charities instead? Fortunately, that trend is about to change courtesy of a ruling in France. The senate in France has barred supermarkets which are bigger than 4,300 square feet from dumping food that has not yet been sold. Following this ruling, France becomes the first country to impose a ban such as this. Supermarkets now sign contracts with charities which would make them liable to a fine of upto nearly $84,000 or imprisonment of two years in case they fail to abide by terms.
Jacques Bailet, the head of Banques Alimentaires, believes that the diversity as well as the quality of food can be increased because of the obligation for supermarkets to sign the contract. There is a deficit of fruits, meat and vegetables. A move such as this may enable people to gain access to such products. The responsibility to gather as well as store food rests with the charities and food banks. As a result, there will be a growing requirement for helpers and volunteers for the sake of handling all incoming food. That is not all; the food must not simply be handed out on the street but given away at a proper center.
Word is that France throws away nearly 7.1 million tonnes of food each year but eleven percent of the food comes from shops. Out of this 11 percent, 15 percent comes from restaurants whereas 67 percent is from consumers. Arash Derambarsh is a politician who started this in shape of a petition, the campaigners of which are expecting European Union to pay close attention and introduce legislation along similar lines across entire Europe. They hope that this way they could enforce such a move in other countries, helping them better manage the food that remains unsold.
The legislation in France prohibits supermarkets from spoiling their food. This includes pouring bleach on the food to keep others from looking in bins or even locking it up in warehouses. It remains to be seen how successful this movement will actually turn out to be.