Research shows that nearly 1/3 of the food produced globally ends up in the trash due to a lack of understanding of food expiration dates, so the European Union is planning to reform food labelling rules.
According to estimates, about 300,000 tonnes of food are thrown away every year in Serbia, even though it could be donated. However, the current legal framework makes this impossible and difficult for food to be donated, reports Serbian Broadcasting Corporation.
“Reports of the United Nations Environmental Protection Program show that Serbia is above the world average in the amount of food waste generated per household, i.e. 83 kilogrammes of food waste are generated annually in Serbia per capita, or 9 kilogrammes more per capita than the world average and as much as 50 kilogrammes more than in Russia, which ranks first among European countries that throw away the least amount of food,” says Isidora Šmigić, collaborator for regulatory reform at NALED.
In addition to the change in expiration labelling, the amount of food that ends up in the trash can be reduced by donating food that is about to expire.
“We need to establish a legal framework and promote responsibility. The responsibility of the person who donates the food and the responsibility of the intermediaries, which are mainly food banks and humanitarian organizations, as well as to provide adequate information to those who are the recipients of that donation. Another aspect is granting tax relief (such as lower VAT) which can help producers and retailers to facilitate food donations,“ says Branislav Raketić from the Ministry of Agriculture.
Analyses have shown that food donations in Serbia could go up from 160 million dinars up to 700 million per year if VAT on donations was abolished because it is still cheaper to throw away than to donate food.
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