A couple of weeks ago we have posted an entry about a legislation that exists in the USA for more than 16 years now. Even though it is a federal law, it didn’t meet the expectations that where given to it. Many entrepreneurs from the food sector don’t even know about the fact that they can give away food without taking responsibility for it. It is not clear why this law is not promoted in the right way. For example we have talked with one of Costco store managers, who told us during a conversation about food waste, that he had never heard of such a law. It was a shock for us. Both of us (Hokuma and I) thought that there is a huge need for spontaneous initiatives, like Say No To Food Waste, in order to start making a change to our food system.
At the end of the past year we heard a story about a local initiative in Belgium. Frédéric Daerden the mayor of the municipality of Herstal imposed on 12 local supermarkets to donate their excessive stock to food banks. Moreover, if any one of them refuses to comply with the new requirements, they will have its environmental permit taken away. “The project starts from the observation that on one hand there is a need to supply food banks, and on the other there is surplus food. We wanted to provide an answer to this problem at the local level, by fighting against waste and at the same time strengthening local solidarity” said the MEP Frédéric Daerden. The quality manager of Carrefour Belgium, Mr. Léglise said, “Our policy is to systematically give surplus food to associations that are part of the food banks. The proposal of the mayor of Herstal was not a problem, as it also reduces the cost of waste disposal.”
This great initiative has already been submitted for revision to the European Commison. As Frédéric Daerden is an EU deputy it is more probable that it will find an easier way to be implemented on a higher scale. It is another example of how local initiative can spread beyond a given region. Politicians all around the world should follow this fine Belgian man’s initiative. Eventually the phrase “Act locally, Think globally” is true and this news is another proof of that. Convince your local deputies, talk to them, they do have much power but it takes will to encourage it!