Regulation on food donations has been improved - in the future it will be possible to donate directly to final consumers

This year on August 11, the Cabinet of Ministers approved amendments to the Cabinet Regulations “Requirements for the Distribution of Food after the Minimum Expiry Date” or the Regulations on Food Donations. The amendments were made to promote the reduction of food waste while helping vulnerable groups. We have already informed that on 30 October 2019, the monthly meeting of the Council for Implementation of the Cooperation Memorandum between Non-governmental Organisations and the Cabinet considered how the new regulation of food donations is being implemented in practice. At present, only charities are allowed to donate food, but it would be more efficient to do so without the mediation of individuals. After the meeting, the Civic Alliance - Latvia conducted an additional survey of CSOs to find out what improvements are needed in the existing regulation in order to promote food donations. The answers provided were handed over to the Ministry of Agriculture in the process of drafting amendments.

The most significant changes in the regulations on food donations are:

1) In the future, it will also be possible to donate directly to final consumers, if the donor provides a separate place for food distribution, which is marked with a special, clearly visible and indelible indication, such as "Donation", "Charity", etc.

2) The range of organisations that are able to receive food intended for donation has been expanded, including also persons registered in the Register of Social Service Providers and municipal social services.

3) In the future, it will be possible to donate to long-term social care and social rehabilitation institutions or other service providers registered in the Register of Social Service Providers, if the service provides catering or the opportunity to use food taken along or prepared during classes.

4) It is clarified that food may be donated by food businesses, i.e. any for-profit or non-profit businesses, public or private, involved in any stage of food production, processing and distribution.