Government will force ‘ugly’ sales to reduce food waste

Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels

Figures show that country must reduce food waste as the new law is drafted

A draft law has passed this week that will force stores to sell imperfect goods to reduce food waste. The council of ministers approved the latest version of the Prevention of Food Loss and Waste document as part of the Sustainable development Goals (SDGs). These goals originate from the United Nations 2030 agenda and look to create a model of “good practices” to avoid food waste throughout the food chain, from harvest to consumption.


More than 1,300 million kilos of uneaten food were thrown away in Spanish households in 2020, which translates to roughly 31 kilos per person. Figures such as these have led the ministry to call it an “ethical imperative” to combat waste. Within the new standard, there is a hierarchy to where excess food ends up. Firstly, human consumption through donations to food banks or non-profit organisations. This route involves the set-up of new procedures between the food companies and the groups receiving the goods. Everything must be traceable and secure.


Next, unsold foods that are still fit for consumption must be made into juices or jams. If no longer edible, the model turns to agricultural uses, animal feed, or fuels such as biogas. The aim is that nothing goes to waste at all.


Restaurant and cafe workers, along with other food services, must offer their clients the option of taking home any food they have not finished under the new guidance. They must also supply the containers in which to do so. Larger food stores will have to promote imperfect or ‘ugly’ produce and encourage people to buy items that are in season locally.


All food losses must be reported annually and measures tracked to follow the draft legislation. There are four types of sanctions currently being discussed. The fines can range from 6,001 euros to 150,000 euros for any breaking of the rules.


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Written by

Claire Gordon


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