Tuesday, 09 October 2018 20:03

CONFERENCE CALLS FOR NEW MEASURES TO TACKLE FOOD WASTE

SUPERMARKETS TOLD TO HELP TACKLE FOOD WASTE AND HUNGER IN ONE

The SNP is calling on supermarkets to help tackle food waste and hunger simultaneously by donating their unsold produce to charities and food banks.

Delegates at the SNP’s 84th annual conference in Glasgow overwhelmingly backed a resolution calling for new measures requiring supermarkets to reduce food waste and increase people’s intake of fruit and vegetables.

France introduced legislation in 2016 requiring supermarkets to give their left over food to charities and foodbanks or else face a £3,224 fine for wasting perfectly edible food.

The Scottish economy loses out on £1bn each year as retailers throw away 380,000 tonnes of food and drink, and Tesco has also suggested that up to 44% of bread produced across the UK is wasted, with only half of that occurring in homes.

SNP MSP Emma Harper said: 

“SNP delegates agreed that we need to try and work towards a donations deal between supermarkets and charities that passes on their unsold produce to the hungry. 

“Projects like Launch Foods in Glasgow take surplus food from suppliers and turn it into healthy meals and snacks for children – making sure landfill is the very last resort for unused produce. 

"CareShare also redistributes quality surplus food to groups working with vulnerable people in the west of Scotland, as well as areas of Dumfries & Galloway in the south west in my constituency.

“Supermarkets can also help by providing consumers with consistent information on what is safe to eat, and removing terms such as ‘Best Before’ from produce that is still safe for human consumption.

“We are determined to make Scotland a Good Food Nation – where no child should grow up being food poor.

“With food bank use soaring year on year as the Tory government’s welfare cuts drive thousands of families into poverty, we need to find new ways to help the hungry whilst reducing waste in society. I hope businesses across Scotland can get on board.”

https://www.tescoplc.com/little-helps-plan/products-food-waste/

FOOD WASTE IN SUPERMARKETS 

Conference notes that 380,000 tonnes of food and drink are thrown away each year which doesn’t have to be and that this costs the Scottish public over £1bn.

Conference also believes that best before dates on fruit and vegetables can be confusing and contribute towards a great deal of food waste as households are throwing away items that are still edible and safe to eat simply because this date has passed. As such, conference urges retailers to provide consistent information that makes it clear to people what is safe to eat. 

Conference welcomes the contribution of projects such as Launch Foods in Glasgow which takes surplus food from suppliers and turns it into healthy meals and snacks for children. 

Conference notes legislation in France which prohibits supermarkets from throwing away or destroying unsold food and requires them to donate it to charities and foodbanks instead and commends supermarkets for their voluntary efforts in this regard. 

Conference believes that Scotland should consider similar measures that can reduce food waste and ensure that more people get to eat more fruit and vegetables. 

EMMA HARPER MSP 
SANDRA WHITE MSP

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