Harvard addresses global food waste and hunger crisis


Harvard Research Identifies Policy Recommendations to Support Food Donation Across Five Continents

In response to food waste, climate change, and a global hunger crisis that is further fueled by the COVID-19 pandemicThe Global Food Donation Policy Atlas makes recommendations to address critical gaps identified while mapping existing food donation laws and policies across the world.

As more countries join the fight to address these global challenges, research from The Atlas project, which is produced by the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) and The Global FoodBanking Network, is now available for 14 countries: ArgentinaCanadaChileColombiaCosta Rica, the Dominican RepublicGuatemalaIndiaMexicoPeruSingaporeSouth Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The Atlas project, supported by the Walmart Foundation, examines six major legal issues that impact food recovery: food safety for donations, date labeling, liability protection for food donations, tax incentives and barriers, government grants and funding, and food waste penalties or donation requirements. 

The Atlas project compares the legal frameworks impacting these issue areas across participating countries and provides policy recommendations for countries to overcome common barriers to food donation.

The results have sparked dialogue among country leaders who are now drawing on best practices from other countries to inform their own food recovery policy development. 

According to the Atlas, in 2019 India introduced Surplus Food Regulations, setting out standards relevant to leftover food that may be donated. While these regulations contain certain safety measures, it is not clear which food safety provisions within India’s general Food Safety and Standards Act pertain to safety and which apply to food donation.

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