retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Washington Post reported over the weekend that France, "in an effort to reduce food waste," has made it illegal for supermarkets to throw out food "considered edible," forcing them instead to donate it to charity or make sure it is used for animal feed.

Food waste is believed to account for about one-third of all food produced worldwide. In the US, as much as $160 billion in food never gets eaten each year.

The Post writes that "the law, as written, is one of the most stringent attempts to cut the amount of edible but unbecoming produce tossed out every day. As of July 2016, large supermarkets in France — those approximately 4,300 square feet and larger — will face fines of up to $82,000 for failing to comply.

"France's pivot comes on the heels of a pledge by the European Union to reduce food waste by 50 percent by 2025. But it also follows a number of other forward-thinking measures in France, aimed at halting the practice of tossing out food because of overly conservative expiration dates. In 2013, for instance, the country pushed forth legislation that forced food sellers to label foods in a way that more closely reflected their true shelf life."

Not sure we'd ever have such legislation in the US ... or even that we should ... but I think this is at least an acknowledgment that this is a serious problem that need to be addressed. (Add it to the remarkable coexistence of obesity and starvation as food-related problems that affect our culture.)

It is an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: