More promising news. Recent issues shed light on Food Waste, and Ministry forced to take action plan.


The Agricultural Affairs Commission, chaired by Marcos Castillero, endorsed this Wednesday the preliminary draft of Law 28 that establishes the National Plan for the Reduction of Food Waste.

The proposal, presented to the National Assembly on July 19, 2022, by the disputed Juan Diego Vásquez, Gabriel Silva and Zulay Rodríguez, aims to “seek sustainable and comprehensive solutions of an economic, social and environmental nature that promote maximum use of the value of food.

And in turn that “strengthen the human right to adequate food and allow the correct disposal of food waste in composting activities, production of biofuels, among other alternatives, that provide additional value to the non-useful life of the food product not consumed”, details the draft law presented.

The proposal is based on the problem of food waste that currently exists at the global and regional levels, and which in turn generates an environmental impact, while millions of people suffer from hunger and malnutrition. On the other hand, the lack of reliable, updated and systematized information is an obstacle to the design of any type of public policy.

According to the proponents, the draft bill, inspired by the Parlatino Model Law Project for the prevention and reduction of food losses and waste, is applicable to multiple key agents in the food supply chain, establishes the duty to generate statistics on food loss and provides a ranking of uses to reduce excessive food loss. 

Thus, they highlight that the preliminary draft mandates the participatory preparation of the National Plan for the Reduction of Food Losses, which must be executed at an intersectoral level to reduce food losses comprehensively.

The initiative also promotes the sale of food close to its best quality date or discard date at a lower price, as well as the sale of food with aesthetic damage at a reduced price, suitable for human consumption, emulating the campaigns launched in France, Germany and Denmark, among others.

In the same way, the obligation is established for food distribution companies to label food with a best quality date and a discard date, in order to reduce the loss of food product of the waste of those that have an expiration date that in It actually only indicates how long the food will keep its good appearance and smell, and not how long it is really suitable for human consumption. 

The proposal also modifies two provisions: a definition of the Health Code and an article of Law 37 of 2014, as well as a regime of administrative sanctions for those who fail to comply with its provisions. 

The problem behind the proposal

In the blueprint, proponents argue that around two billion people worldwide are nutritionally deficient and around 800 million still go hungry due to poverty and underdeveloped food systems. 

While one-third of the food produced globally is lost (post-harvest and pre-consumer) or wasted (post-consumer) along the food supply chain, from production up to consumption. 

According to data compiled by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (F AO), approximately 14% of food produced globally is lost between production and pre-retail consumption. . 

In this sense, Latin America and the Caribbean is one of the regions that contributes the most to this statistic, since approximately 127 million tons of food are lost or wasted annually, enough to feed approximately 300 million people.

It is estimated that about 60% of the food waste produced in Panama is generated at home, while the remaining 40% is divided between hotels, restaurants, markets, supermarkets and producers.

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