Food waste petition makes it onto EU circular economy agenda

French Member of European Parliament (MEP) Angélique Delahaye is to bring forward an amendment at European Parliament’s plenary session on the circular economy tomorrow (9 July), which could make supermarkets donate unsold edible food to charities.

Delahaye has an active interest in reducing food waste, and is Co-founder and President of the food waste organisation Solaal. She has also collaborated on a food waste documentary Global Gâchis, and assisted in a Feeding the 5000 event in Paris, which created a free public feast using food that would have been wasted.

Yesterday (7 July) Delahaye met Arash Derambarsh, a French councillor for Courbevoie who helped persuade the French government to pass a law barring shops from destroying food, to hear about his new pan-European petition calling on the European Commission to do the same.

Running across seven EU countries – Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, and the UK – the STOP Food Waste in Europe petition was launched by a range of campaigners opposing food waste, in association with the Action Against Hunger charity and the French Red Cross. It has so far received more than half a million signatures, and aims to reach a million signatures in the next few days.

After hearing details of the campaign, Delahaye agreed to table the amendment at on the plenary vote on Sirpa Pietikainen’s draft report, ‘Resource efficiency: moving towards a circular economy’, which sets out recommendations for a number of actions to be included in the European Commission’s (EC) revised Circular Economy Package, which is currently under consultation.

The vote was originally scheduled for today (8 July), but has now been pushed back until tomorrow afternoon.

If passed by MEPs tomorrow, the resolution would go before European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, for approval.

‘Ensuring our laws reflect a fundamental value’

Writing for the UK-branch of the STOP Food Waste in Europe petition, food waste campaigner and founder of Feedback, Tristram Stuart, said: ‘Following Arash Derambarsh’s leadership and success with this campaign in France, over half a million people have joined the EU-wide call to make supermarkets donate their unsold edible food to charities. 

‘The European Parliament has responded to the pressure and Angélique Delahaye MEP has added an amendment on this very issue to a vote on tomorrow…

‘This is an important first step to make sure that our laws reflect a fundamental value - that food is too good to waste.

‘The European Parliament need to show leadership and support the amendment which calls on the European Commission to “promote in member states the creation of conventions proposing that retail food sector distribute their unsold products to charity associations”.’

He went on to call on the public to sign the STOP Food Waste in Europe petition, stating: ‘At a time when there are around one billion malnourished people in the world and forests are being destroyed to grow food that ends up in landfill, we need to urgently tackle the problem.

‘To make sure that MEPs vote to get supermarkets to donate their edible unsold food, we need to keep up the pressure.’

Find out more about the STOP Food Waste in Europe petition or the circular economy report.

Related Articles