Complaint against a Leclerc accused of having sprinkled disinfectant on consumable food

The lawyer, and elected various right to the town hall of Courbevoie, Arash Derambarsh, Monday February 4, made note by a bailiff that an E.Leclerc supermarket located in the Landes practiced food waste. He filed a complaint on Tuesday, February 5

warns: that he filed Tuesday, February 5 against the hypermarket company E.Leclerc may be the first complaint in a long series. The subject of the dispute? The non-respect, according to the lawyer, of the, voted in the Assembly three years ago, on February 3, 2016.

Accompanied by his colleague Thierry Vallat, a bailiff and several journalists, the lawyer noted this Monday, February 4 that consumable food was thrown away by the E.Leclerc supermarket in Mimizan-Plage. In total, 50 kilograms of food were found there, sprayed with disinfectant. Vegetables, yogurts, meat, croissants and chocolatines. According to the elected official, “the expiry dates were February 4”.

“A logistical error”

The law in question stipulates that no supermarket with an area of ​​more than 400 square meters should throw away a single food, at the risk of incurring a fine of 3,750 euros. Instead, unsold items must be collected by humanitarian associations.

The E.Leclerc center in Mimizan-Plage, with a surface area of ​​1,000 square meters, therefore broke the law. But for the management of the supermarket, it is a simple logistical error “that the management is firmly committed not to reproduce”.

Frequent cases

Yet Arash Derambarsh asserts: this is not an isolated case. “Not everyone respects the law,” he laments, “and if I’m only acting now, it’s because I wanted to give the big distribution chains time to adapt. But after three years, I believe that those who still do not respect the law must pay ”. According to him, he would have received about thirty complaints accusing E.Leclerc centers, in particular.

22% additional donations to associations

The law against food waste was passed with a broader goal of halving food waste by 2025. Indeed, each year, 10 million tonnes of food are thrown away in France, a theoretical value estimated at 16 Billions of Euro’s.

And the lawyer sees it himself: even if some do not follow the rules, there has been a marked improvement. More than two years after its entry into force, the French branch of the United Nations World Food Program affirmed that this law had made it possible to increase donations to food aid associations by 22%.

Regarding the waste itself, according to Pierre Galio, head of the consumption and prevention department of the Environment and Energy Management Agency (Ademe), it is still too early to quantify its effectiveness.

In addition, only 14% of food waste comes from supermarkets. The rest is carried out at the time of production, processing, and above all consumption of the product. The reduction of food waste could soon be extended to other actors in the food chain.

A strategic target

“If large-scale distribution is targeted as a priority, it is for two reasons”, explains Pierre Galio. First of all, “the practices are fairly easy to set up insofar as the fight against waste is favorable for large distribution chains”. The donation to associations allows tax exemption up to the prices purchased, which represents a real economic interest. In addition, this fight allows large chains to save on waste management costs, since it is the associations that take care of the logistics. Finally, some chains that are more respectful than others in terms of waste, such as Intermarché according to Arash Derembarsh, have been able to benefit from a better image with respect to consumers.

Above all, Arash Derembarsh underlines the strategic weight of large-scale distribution. “It is the distribution which fixes the prices with the producers and which decides the quality and the quantity of the products. At this point, it influences the entire food chain, that’s why I made it my hobbyhorse ”.

Pierre Galio confirms it: all links in the chain are permanently interconnected. “Large-scale distribution sets the standards by requiring very precise specifications from the agrifood industries and the agricultural world. Avoiding food waste, for example, can lead a store to reduce product over-listing. The diversification of products also leads to waste in terms of their manufacture, but also can lead to overstocks and therefore to an increase in unsold products. A whole system is being called into question ”.

However, Pierre Galio calls for vigilance: “we must be careful that associations do not recover non-consumable products, and therefore waste that they will have to manage in place of mass distribution. Maintaining a quality standard must be the main priority if the fight against waste is to be effective ”.

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