On 22 May 2015 the French national assembly voted on policy measures that prohibit supermarkets to discard unsold foodstuffs. After having taken donation to charities into account, the proposed law aims to encourage supermarkets through legal measures to have the foodstuffs valorised as animal feed.
EFFPA Board Member Guy Lannoy welcomed the political attention given to the importance of using former foodstuffs in animal feed, but he highlights that prerequisite feed safety precautions are needed before food losses from supermarkets may be used as animal feed. Lannoy: “We’re happy to see recognition of the role that animal feed plays in reducing food waste along the chain, however retailers and consumers should be fully aware that not all types of food losses can be valorised through feed for food producing animals. Supermarkets wanting to channel food losses to former foodstuff processors need to take into account the strict EU regulations in regards to feed safety and feed material integrity, including the requirement that food losses may not contain any meat products, if they are destined to feeding of food producing animals”.
Currently, the number of retailers who engage in feed valorisation activities is rather limited . The newly proposed measures may help in setting up a controlled framework for this activity, however never at the cost of safety precautions. Lannoy: “It is precisely because of the complexity and rigorous requirements of feed regulations that retailers are currently not as active in feed valorisation as food manufacturers. If governments and competent authorities consider that retailers should become more active in the field of feed valorisation, they should also be prepared to provide the guidance to allow for proper implementation of EU feed safety legislation.”
EFFPA is actively seeking to obtain further legal clarifications on the status of former foodstuffs as feed at EU level.
Guy Lannoy is President of the French association of former foodstuff processors Valoria.