ONE in four Alicante Province inhabitants live below the poverty line of €7,961 a year. Although some people must be going hungry the province throws away an annual 30 million kilos of food worth €450 million.
Consumers’ association Facua is calling for the Spanish government to emulate France, by introducing a legal ban on destroying provisions that are still edible. Instead, the big supermarket chains must donate it to food banks or charities.
Supermarkets are not the only culprits and account for only 5 per cent of discarded food. Forty-two per cent originates in the home, a further 39 per cent is lost during processing and 14 per cent is thrown away by restaurants.
Pedro Reig, director of the Valencian Community Association of Supermarkets (Asucova) confirmed these figures. “Supermarkets account for 5 per cent of wasted food,” he said. “They make money through good management, small profit margins and optimising stock so that as little as possible gets thrown away.”
In recent years and owing to the crisis, food retailers have increasingly cooperated with the food banks, Caritas and other charities. “They all help to a greater lesser extent,” said Reig.