2020- 2022 Policy Process | Green Party of Canada
Where GPC membership collaborates to develop our policies
G21-P013 Food Waste: Anathema to Food Security
The GPC supports prohibiting grocery stores from discarding edible food so food that would otherwise be thrown out is instead used to feed communities in need. If food is no longer suitable for human consumption, it should be used as animal feed when possible; otherwise as composting for soil amendment.
The GPC will pass legislation that prevents grocery stores from throwing out edible food.
This policy addresses the issues of food waste and hunger. Food that is being wasted in Canada can be redirected to feed communities in need. Reducing the amount of food disposed of reduces Canada’s GHG emissions, enhances food security and ensures that the energy associated with the food value chain is not wasted.
Supporting Comments from Submitter
France has successfully implemented a ban on grocery stores wasting food, and it has been very successful to date. Below are more details about that country’s case, as well as examples of smaller scale Canadian efforts that could be expanded or learned from.
In 2016, France became the first country to ban grocery stores from discarding or destroying unsold food, instead mandating that they donate it to charities and food banks. Prior to passing this legislation, grocery stores were throwing out food as it neared its expiration date, often locking it away or dousing trash bins with bleach to prevent people from digging through their bins. Grocery stores with a footprint of 4305 sq meters or more must sign donation contracts with charities. The penalty for non-compliance is €3,750. Jacques Bailet, the head of Banques Alimentaires, a network of French food banks stated that the law will help address a lack of meat and fresh produce in food banks and alleviate food insecurity.
Nanaimo, BC has an organization called Loaves & Fishes community food bank which has partnered with local grocery stores through an initiative called Food4U Food Recovery Program. This partnership ensures perishable food that stores are throwing out is not wasted and instead is directed to clients of Loaves and Fishes. This model could be replicated Canada-wide.
Flash Food is a Canada organization that has partnered with grocery stores nationwide to sell their expiring products at a discounted price. It has been a highly successful venture, showing that Canadians will eat food that is past its prime. Produce that does not have the perceived perfect colour or shape is still edible. In 2019, Flash Food diverted 4.6 million pounds of potential food waste from landfills, in the process feeding more than 110,000 families.
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