Companies are rushing to avoid fines of up to €500,000 for food waste

the comp hurry to avoid Fines associated with the Food Loss and Waste Prevention Act, which, although announced by the government nearly a year ago, is now in its final stage of processing.

Specifically, the bill has already been in the Senate since May 12, after it was approved by the plenary session of the House of Representatives – with 269 votes in favor, no votes against, and 70 abstentions. It was in June 2022 when the Minister of Agriculture, Louis PlanasAnd announced the approval of a “pioneering law” aimed at “reducing” waste in the trash Of unconsumed foodstuffs, the best use of these is preferred.”

Now, almost a year later, it’s starting to take shape. “In the most optimistic term, it will come into play June; If not, before the end of the year. We will start an information campaign for all companies, so they know this is coming and they need to prepare. Not for large companies, but there are small and medium companies affected And they don’t know», sums up the director of communication and institutional relations aecocNuria de Pedraza, who is also responsible for the field of food waste.

This employer, which includes 33,000 Spanish manufacturers and distributors, knows part of the details of the project being implemented by the government. Not surprisingly, Aecoc started a decade ago with a program focused on food waste, with 750 companies since joining voluntarily. “These are more than ready, because it was a groundbreaking project. However, there are many companies, especially small and medium-sized companies, that today do not realize that the law will affect them, perhaps before the end of the year, and they are not ready for this. They don’t even know what is required of them»summarizes de Pedraza, who presents:« We are calm because the law is born of consensus. We’ve been involved and we’ve been heard. Spain is Third European country which, after Italy and France, apply a law of this kind. “Our model is very similar to the French model,” says an Aecoc spokeswoman.

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One of the obligations imposed by the rule, which is associated with penalties up to 500,000 eurosis the need for companies toapplication plan To prevent food loss and waste,” the absence of which is considered to be a serious or extremely dangerous mistake.” The law obliges not only companies, but also social entities to have a plan. We’ll get to see the guidelines first, because we still don’t know in detail what this plan should be considering. We will create a working group to define the important lines, which are the measurement systems, the indicators … and everything that characterizes Europe for us as a country, because Spain has to report data on food waste, ”explains de Pedraza.

In the text of the rule sent to the Senate, it was detailed that this plan should consider the way in which the “hierarchy of priorities” established by the text would be implemented. The aim is to prevent the generation of food losses and waste”, by incorporating rational production, procurement and management standards based on the specific needs that Prevent the generation of surpluses». Hierarchy that primarily includes normative points to A gift food; Fail to do so transformation of those products which have not been sold but are still fit for consumption; Thirdly, the food will be used for animal feed and manufacturing feed; And if they are not useful either, they are used as by-products in another industry. “Ultimately, already as waste, to recycle and, in particular, to obtain compost,” the text compiles.

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In addition, the law states that companies must come to agreements or agreements to donate their surplus food to corporations, social initiative entities and other organizations or food banks, “except in cases where it is not feasible and duly justified.”

Agriculture acknowledges that “efforts to combat food waste seem to have been the case InsufficientIt therefore insists on the need to agree to this standard “to promote the prevention and reduction of food loss and waste.” «In order to ensure the efficiency of all links in the supply chain in achieving this goal, the participation of all sectors of society is necessary, and the involvement of public administrations, companies and relevant operators in its preparation and implementation. With the food chain, associations, food banks, and society as a whole,” the text compiles.

aroused interest

The close approval of this standard, as well as the employers themselves, causes a significantly increased demand for information towards specialized companies. It is the case of the French Phoenix, which focuses on food waste, and has been operating in Spain for a few years. “this will be one before and afterJean-Baptiste Poupolt, President of Phenix in Spain, explains in an ABC conversation.

Popolt offers that the standard will assume a “boom” in our activity, “and indicates that the work of the company, which was born in France about eight years ago, is trying to propose solutions” both technological and human. “« Previously, waste was integrated into the economic equation of every company , but this is no longer acceptable, neither socially nor economically. The danger is that corporations see it as coercive law, but the truth is that they control it Improve profitability as a company.”

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This food waste company is already working with restaurant giants like Regions, and his goal is to start doing this with the major supermarket chains. “We start E LakerickWe already have agreements with manufacturers … By the end of 2024 we expect to implement 500 points of sale “, Boubalt concludes.

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