Starting in 2024, large supermarkets in Brussels will be required to donate unsold food that is still suitable for consumption to organizations that provide food aid to those in need. The new

measure will affect over 100 stores, as announced by Brussels Minister for Welfare, Alain Maron (Ecolo), on Tuesday.

In a press release, Maron stated that the Brussels government had approved a draft ordinance on Thursday, and the compulsory donations will help increase the food reserves of charities supporting the most disadvantaged individuals. With approximately 70,000 people in Brussels relying on food aid, the wastage of edible food remains unacceptable. Maron emphasized the importance of supporting the day-to-day efforts of food aid organizations in the ongoing fight against poverty.

According to the ruling, the requirement applies to food that remains unsold on the day before its sell-by date, and supermarkets will establish agreements with food aid associations to facilitate the donations.

In the European Union, nearly 59 million tonnes of food (equivalent to 131 kg per inhabitant) are wasted annually, with more than half of this waste coming from households. As part of its Green Deal on sustainability, the EU aims to achieve a 30% reduction in food waste by 2030.