In the future, supermarkets must report to the Ministry of the Environment how much food they throw away or donate. This is the result of the amendment to the Waste Management Act (AWG) that was adopted in the National Council on Wednesday. The reporting obligation for dealers applies from the fourth quarter for sales areas of 400 square meters or more or five sales outlets. According to Minister Leonore Gewessler (Greens), it should be a “clear incentive to donate” and thus prevent food waste.
Once a quarter, large grocers and supermarket chains are then obliged to report to the Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment how much food they have thrown away and how much has been donated. “In times of rising prices, when many people can no longer make ends meet, it cannot be the case that thousands of tons of food are simply thrown away,” Gewessler said in a statement. The new regulation in the Waste Management Act provides transparency and is a clear statement against food waste, because companies are encouraged to donate their food that is still edible and prevent waste.
Food is donated
Thanks to the ‘Food is precious’ initiative, a voluntary agreement between supermarkets and the ministry, food is already being passed on to civil society organizations such as the Table, which means that some 20,000 tons of food no longer end up in the trash. Yet there are estimates of 70,834 tons of avoidable retail food waste.
The initiative application for the AWG change affects an estimated 900 companies in Austria. The quarterly reports must be submitted for the first time for the fourth calendar quarter of 2023 by February 10, 2024. Both the mass of food passed free for human consumption and that disposed of as waste must be reported and then made available to the public in a quarterly report. presented. Micro-enterprises and food producers who sell food through direct sales, such as farmers, are not covered by the regulation.
I’m Ben Stock, a journalist and author at Today Times Live. I specialize in economic news and have been working in the news industry for over five years. My experience spans from local journalism to international business reporting. In my career I’ve had the opportunity to interview some of the world’s leading economists and financial experts, giving me an insight into global trends that is unique among journalists.