Three years ago the French chain of intermarché supermarkets began selling fruit and vegetables with defects with a 30% discounts within a campaign called "fruits and ugly vegetables". Then he did the same with his cookie brand, many of them broken inside the packages or with irregular shapes. The objective was to prevent the consumer from throwing the products only because they have some deformity, they break in transport or, ultimately, because they do not meet aesthetic requirements that have nothing to do with quality or taste.
The campaign was held for a whole month in the stores of the chain and had a remarkable success. Following these same steps, Spain will also generalize food marketing with defects. The Government has approved this week a preliminary draft law to combat food waste that, among other things, contemplates that supermarkets dedicate a space in stores to sell products close to expiration or with aesthetic defects.
The distribution, which encompasses supermarkets, hypermarkets and specialized stores, is waiting to know the small print of the regulations, although they go with the duties done, then, according to sources of the sector, this "is something that most of the The chains already do ", especially with packaged products, such as yoghurts.
Now it will be done mandatory and also with fresh products. "We are on the expectation of knowing a little more about the measures of this new project," says Ignacio García-Magarázo, General Director of Aseedas, Spanish Association of Self-Service Distributors and Supermarkets, which encompasses most of the sector. "The model of proximity of distribution in Spain helps precisely why there is no waste, because the fact of having stores next to home causes no accumulation in the fridge," he says.
According to the new law, all agents of the food chain must have a prevention plan to avoid waste: products with sufficient useful life will be donated, those that have not been sold but are in optimal conditions of consumption will be transformed into juices or Mermers, for example. On the other hand, those that are not suitable for human consumption will be given for animal feeding.
12% of this loss are destined to donation, compared to 29% that recovers or recycled and 59% that ends in the waste manager, according to AECOC. This percentage of foods that runs wasted is explained because the chains "find serious difficulties for the donation of products such as flesh and fish."
"Companies are the first interested in not having mermamas, it is not about having a corner of sale with products close to expiration, but not having them, or reducing them, because that generates losses to companies and we are the first interested in not Having them, "explains sources from the sector, who ask that companies" can deduct the VAT of these products that have been donated but have not been sold ", so that donating them does not involve a fiscal burden.
They also believe that the debate has to focus more on homes, which is where waste is produced. According to data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, in 2020 Spanish households threw more than 1,300 million kilos of food without consuming, 31 kilos / liters per person. The government wants to reduce this figure by half in 2030. "This preliminary draft aims to generate debate," said Minister of Agriculture, Luis Flat, last week in the presentation of the preliminary project.
In the case of hospitality, consumers will be entitled (and the establishment will be obliged to do so) to be able to ask for the remaining food to carry, something that, as in the distribution, "was already being done in a large part of the establishments" , They say from Hospitality of Spain.
"More than a fifth of the wasted food in our homes is because we do not know how to use or reuse leftovers," says Rebecca Rippin, CEO for Cookpad Iberia, an application focused on food waste through the kitchen and that goes further, because it even pretends to reuse parts of fruits and vegetables that normally throw away, such as shells or nuggets.
"In the case of fresh food, we throw away pieces of fruits and vegetables in the trash that are actually edible because we do not know how to use them. If we learn, and we get saved half of our leftovers and half of the Waste of fruits and vegetables, we could reduce the total waste of food in Spain by 34% from our homes, "says Rippin.Updated Date: 16 October 2021, 13:26