According to him, the working group, which also included representatives from the Ministries of Environment and Economy and Innovation, reached a point of contact after intense negotiations, and the initiative related to the redistribution of food surpluses should come to the Seimas in the autumn session. .
“I was very surprised by the ministries, they worked and got involved very sincerely and drafted a total of three laws. Three bills came out of one. There was also an amendment to the law on the environment, an amendment to the Food Law and an amendment to the Code of Administrative Violations,” T. Tomilinas told Eltai.
“We found a compromise, there were maybe four meetings, quite intense. We backed off on the fact that there is no ban on selling items on the last day – it would certainly be difficult to prove legally But at the same time there is a mandatory contract with charities, all supermarkets, that’s also a big win, because then all supermarkets will have to have a contract and as a result the scale of food donations should increase by significantly,” he said.
Supermarkets will have to develop a plan to reduce food waste and increase food donations
The politician assured that after the adoption of the planned amendments to the law, the state will oblige each shopping center to have its own strategy to reduce food waste and increase its donations to charities.
“By law, the state requires each mall to have its own strategy, a plan on how to reduce food waste with clear numbers, how much food was donated last year, how much will be given next year, so that there is a clear plan to reduce food waste and donations,” the MP said.
“The plan is not imposed, the shopping center itself confirms this in writing. We use the draft program “Kurk Lietuvai”, we are similar to other countries, experts also actively participated in the working group. We are doing a hybrid version based on the Spanish and Polish model, that there is a binding contract and a plan, fines for not having them with clear numbers, how much food waste is reduced and how much charity is increased” , he noted.
T. Tomilinas assured that the representatives of the Ministries of Environment and Economy and Innovation are active in the working group, and the ministers are expected to approve the outcome in the near future. According to him, if the result of the working group is literally transferred to the conclusion of the government, it will be an excellent result.
“The broad working group for the preparation of the government’s conclusion was here. The deputy ministers of the two ministries, of Economy and Innovation and of the Environment took part in it. It was very active, the deputy -ministers and ministerial advisers participated in all the meetings.The ministers will have to approve the result, I will talk to them in the near future, and if on the basis of the result of the working group, it is literally transferred to the conclusion of the government, this will certainly be an excellent result”, underlined the politician.
The resistance of shopping centers has decreased considerably after the publication of the EC directive
The European Commission (EC) published a directive in early July that includes among the targets until 2030. 10 percent to reduce food waste in the production process, also by the same year it should be 30 percent . reduce this waste in households and restaurants. T. Tomilinas claimed that after the publication of this directive, the resistance of shopping centers to the changes initiated by him decreased considerably.
“We are waiting for the last word from the shopping centres. Although the resistance has decreased considerably after the EC directive, there are certain obligations, the Ministry of the Environment indicates that in the future there will probably be mandatory instructions for the sector on the amount of waste reduction. Now we are taking an intermediate step, so that the reduction plans are mandatory”, explained a member of the democratic faction “Vardan Lietuvos”.
“Voluntary self-regulation is always better than obligation, if it happens. I didn’t see much resistance, but they (malls – ELTA) took a break to give their final verdict on their deal. But the negotiations at the last meeting seem to be heading towards a compromise,” the politician said with a positive outlook on the situation.
In the spring session, the Seimas after submission approved the amendments initiated by T. Tomilinos, which aim to reduce the waste of food still fit for consumption – to call on supermarkets to first offer food to organizations charities who distribute it to the needy, instead of throwing it away immediately.
In the spring, the Ministry of Economy and Innovation presented an initiative which also aims to reduce food waste. It is proposed to amend the food law and the procedure relating to food trade, thus allowing to extend the minimum shelf life of foods labeled “Best before…” in Lithuania and to allow them to be sold Longer.
Source: The Delfi