Green Party push for NZ supermarkets to donate unsold food

By Semi Holland

The Green Party is looking into whether New Zealand supermarkets should by law donate unsold food to the homeless, students and unemployed.

It follows after France recently became the first country in the world to ban supermarkets from throwing away unsold food.

A law passed recently in France, forces supermarkets to donate unsold food to charities and food banks. 

Green Party Co-Leader, Metiria Turei says, “We think it's an amazing initiative and we need to look at it carefully here.”

Under the law passed unanimously by the French Senate, large shops will no longer dispose of good quality food approaching its best before date.

Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson Sue Bradford has reservations if such a law was passed for supermarkets here in New Zealand.

“One of my biggest worries with this is oh you can have the food and you're just treating human beings like dogs in the street. Oh here’s the food, kei te pai and it’s a very disrespectful and unhelpful way of treating our fellow human beings,” says Bradford.

The law in France follows a grassroots campaign in France by shoppers, anti-poverty campaigners and those opposed to food waste.

Turei says, “We're looking at what they're doing in France and in other places around what kind of legislation we can put in place for our supermarkets, but also what other kind of support we can give to community organisations so that they can work better with industry like supermarkets and other food supplies.”

Bradford says, “To do a resource distribution in a way that didn't put people down and make them feel bad would be really important.”

Meanwhile in France, charities will be able to give out millions more free meals each year to people struggling to afford to eat.

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