[NOVA S] Food Security Day: Are we paying attention to the expiration date?

On the occasion of World Food Security Day, marked on June 7, alarming statistics highlight the issue of food waste. More than 700,000 tons of food are wasted in Serbia each year, while nearly one in ten individuals worldwide falls ill due to spoiled food. Understanding the root causes of this waste is crucial.

Data reveals that approximately one-third of all produced food goes unused, translating to roughly 247,000 tons of edible food discarded in Serbia annually. These figures increase when accounting for inevitable food waste, such as banana peels and eggshells. One prominent challenge lies in the absence of legal regulations governing the donation of food past "best before" date, perpetuating surplus disposal issues - according to Slobodan Krstović, Director for Sustainable Development at NALED.

Considering Serbia's socio-economic circumstances, characterized by a significant number of impoverished individuals facing hunger, maximizing the utilization of all available food resources is paramount. Differentiating between "use-by" and "best before" labels becomes essential.

Under the Law on Food Safety, the terms "best before" and "use-by" are recognized. This intermediary period indicates that the food remains suitable for consumption. Nonetheless, Serbia currently lacks regulations specifically addressing the potential donation of food during this phase. Krstović emphasizes the advocacy for food donations and proposes tax relief measures for donors, including exemption from value-added tax (VAT) on donated food.

To delve deeper into the discussion, you can access the complete session recording through the this link.

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