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Will France Change Food and Farming Forever?

Touch the Soil News #300

Earlier last year, the French government voted unanimously to pass a new law that will prohibit supermarkets from purposely spoiling or dumping food that is still good to eat. The food stores are required to sign contracts with charities to channel food they pull from shelves that is still fit to eat. This food will channel into charitable feeding programs to alleviate hunger in France. Penalties for not complying with this law will have fines upwards of $80,000 or prison time.

Even more aggressive relative to food and farming is a recent proposal working its way through the legislative bodies in France.

The new French legislation would require all cafeterias in schools, hospitals, senior living communities, prisons and other state institutions to source at least 40 percent of their food locally.

French Minister of Agriculture Stephane Le Foll is at the center of activities to change the French agricultural system.

Details about what “local” means are being worked out. One recommendation is that fruits and vegetables be sourced within a 20-mile radius and foods that need processing (meat, grains) within a 65 mile radius.

The ultimate goal of the law is to restructure the food system in France, stimulate local economies and shorten the distance food travels as well as shortening warehousing and other intermediate steps.

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