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The new norm aims at fighting a phenomenon that burns €12 billion per year. Incentives for enterprises, municipalities and supermarket chains.
Italy tries to say no to food wastage. With the inspiration of measures taken in France some time ago, the Chamber of Deputies just passed a specific law, that now has to be examined by the Senate, to fight a phenomenon that burns €12 billion per year.
The goal of the new norm is to reduce negative impacts on the environment by reducing the quantity of waste produced, thanks to prevention activities, to the extension of the products’ life cycle and to the adoption of excess food recycling and donation programs. To achieve this goal it will be essential to provide all stakeholders with the necessary know-how concerning food recovery and free distribution, in compliance with the norm. It will be necessary to increase the food categories and the list of subjects who can distribute food without commercial purposes, by adopting incentives for enterprises and local authorities that sustain forms of circular economy.
Moreover, the new norm introduces the free donation of unsold stocks, allowing supermarket chains to donate unsold products that are still suitable for human or animal consumption. Donations are simplified and encouraged through a reduction on waste tax.
Tax breaks are also introduced for food producing enterprises that invest in innovative choices with a high environmental value and adopt technologically advanced production systems, so as to guarantee better performances in terms of environmental impact.
Moreover, the new norm establishes a National Fund for scientific research in the field of natural resources loss and wastage, with a grant of €10 billion for 2016. The new fund is aimed at supporting projects of local bodies that recover and reuse food excess, as well as institutional information campaigns to raise awareness among citizens about environmental sustainability and a responsible use of resources.
“The law against food wastage – explains Maurizio Martina, the Minister of Agriculture – is one of the direct legacies of Expo 2015. We aim at increasing the awareness of consumers about their food choices and at simplifying the donation process for enterprises. For the first time, a major role goes to agricultural activities, that can now do direct donations to people in need. With regard to this point, Italy has a quite good record already: we recover 550thousand tons of food excess in the whole production chain every year. Our aim is to reach 1 million in 2016. The NoWastage plan will be carried on with the measures of this new law and with the new rules introduced by the latest financial law, that makes it more convenient for enterprises to donate food rather than waste it.”