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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Should supermarkets be made to donate unsold food to charities?

This poll is over 8 years old

Supermarkets in France are compelled by law to donate unsold food to charities - should the same happen here?

Should supermarkets be made to donate unsold food to charities?


Food poverty has become a major issue in our age of austerity and cut backs.

TFN revealed last year that the amount of people going hungry may be vastly under reported as there are no adequate means of recording and mapping the extent of the problem.

Meanwhile, the third sector has found itself at the forefront of attempts to at the very least alleviate the crisis.

A network of foodbanks has sprung up – with the foodbank coming to symbolise austerity and civil society’s response.

Meanwhile, more sustainable models such as food co-ops and growing projects are being explored.

The latest development saw the start of a partnership between Tesco and the third sector, whereby stores in Edinburgh will offer unsold but still edible food to charities.

Wastage of food in our supermarkets has become a talking point recently – and as well as achieving social good, the scheme is undoubtedly a PR coup for Tesco.

So far it is the only major supermarket to donate unsold produce to charities – even if it is, to date, on a limited scale.

Indeed, Asda caused a mini-furore when it announced it was stopping its in-store foodbank collections, where customers set items aside, though it was later forced into a U-turn.

Meanwhile, France recently became the first country in the world to ban supermarkets from throwing away or destroying unsold food, forcing them instead to donate it to charities and foodbanks.

What do you think? Is this the road we should go down here?

Should foodbanks be forced to donate unsold food to charities?

Vote now – and help get the debate started by leaving a comment below.

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