Food Waste at Time of Food Poverty: Are the EU and Its Member States Providing Sustainable Legal Solutions?

Julie Mansuy and Dr Tomaso Ferrando
Law of School- University of Warwick – UK


Throughout the global chain of production, food waste (and food surplus that are never inserted in the chain of consumption) represent a critical issue with significant social, economic and environmental consequences if not properly addressed. As a response, several legal initiatives to tackle food waste have been launched throughout the world: the legislative and regulatory choices made by the European Commission, France, Italy and the UK proposal of a Food waste (Reduction) Bill 2015-2015 are the object of our study.
The underlying message of these legal interventions is that law can be the instruments to nudge citizens and producers into engaging with the ethical, social and environmental unacceptability of food waste. As such, law becomes an active instrument of social transformation, although it often operates in different forms and through different patterns. However, a comparative glance to the ratio and principles behind most of these legislative interventions seem not to question the origins and roots of food insecurity, nor to challenge the systemic production of food waste, or even to investigate the long term implications of the legal intervention.
The aim of this paper is to present some of the main initiatives that have been launched as part of the ‘war on waste’ and reflect, through the use of local examples and expertise, on the validity or the current reforms and on the need to imagine alternative trajectories that not only look at the symptoms and at the causes of the problem.

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