|French Anti-Waste Program|
First, the Ministry of Agriculture released a comprehensive guide promoting the use of quality local food sources in public institutions like schools, hospitals, retirement homes and nurseries – a huge section of any country’s food services industry.
The plan goes step-by-step through the process of procuring food sources in public institutions, highlighting key ways the use of local food can be promoted and the benefits of local sources to the institutions, the economy and the environment.
The use of local food has many known benefits, including reducing the impact on the environment, promoting the local economy and encouraging people to have a deeper connection with their local communities. Taking into account the growing public demand for local products, the French government has fixed a goal of attaining 40% local food in public institutions by 2017.
Using signs of quality and origin are also strongly encouraged by the guide, as they are proof of a connection to a geographic location and are widely known as a guarantee of quality. Official government labeling of things like organic foods, protected geographic origin and others are important tools for consumers and producers to ensure quality products.
The law puts in place a series of steps to take to prevent waste of unsold food. First, institutions are to attempt to find a way to donate the food to charities. If that does not succeed, they are to donate the food for animal use, and finally they are then instructed to use the food products for composting, thus dramatically limiting the amount of food that can be wasted throughout the entire food production chain.
Both of these big ideas contribute to France’s longstanding efforts to reduce the impact of agriculture on climate change. By using local, quality food sources, carbon emissions are reduced and the local economy gets a boost – plus, by promoting signs of quality of origin, the food just tastes better.
And by making big strides to reduce France’s food waste, less carbon dioxide is wasted in production and charitable organizations get a boost in donations. These are win-win solutions for everyone, and play a beneficial role in France’s famous relationship with food.
Read more: France puts focus on eating local, ending waste