Food Bank to Be Opened in Croatia

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An end to the practice of throwing food away in Croatia? 

“Although the adoption of the regulations on donating food was expected at the beginning of summer, we needed more time due to the comprehensiveness of the issue. Currently, we expect that the regulations will enter the public discussion period by the end of September”, said Snježana Španjol, deputy minister of agriculture, reports Glas Slavonije on September 4, 2015.

The new regulations should end the current practice which makes shops, bakers, butchers and other food producers throw food away, since it is cheaper for them to throw it than to donate it to those who need it. Some estimates claim that every year about 400,000 tons of food is being discarded, which means around 90 kilograms per every person in Croatia.

Španjol added that the food bank will be a system of databases which will enable authorities to easily and accurately determine the needs for donating food, where the possible donations are located and how quickly the food can be given to those who need it. “During the discussions, we have heard about examples that in some parts of Croatia there is excess food, while in other parts there is not enough food. Therefore, the goal is to establish a food bank where donors, manufacturers, users and storage areas will be registered. That would enable us to monthly monitor the quantities which are being donated”, added Španjol.

The Food Agency estimates that every year about 400,000 tons of food are thrown away, at the cost of three billion kuna, which is between 1300 and 1500 kuna per adult citizen. “We emphasize that these are only estimates, since there is no single database of all data”, added Španjol.

The project is divided into two phases. “In the first phase, together with the Ministry of Finance we will adopt cuts on income tax for traders, food producers, bakers, butchers, fishermen and others. We are going to change the law in the way which will allow donations to increase over the current limit of two percent of income”, said the deputy minister of agriculture.

It is expected that it will take about a year after the publication of regulations for all the necessary data to be collected and for the financial performance to be assessed. The regulations could come into effect by the end of October.


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