This study provides a comparative overview of current legislation and practices concerning food donation in the EU Member States (MS) by mapping key hurdles preventing food donation, by identifying best practices in the field and by developing recommendations on how to legislate or interpret legislation in order to facilitate food donation. The study investigates five main legislative areas impacting food donation (product liability, food safety and hygiene, food durability and date marking, tax legislation, and the food waste hierarchy) in 12 Member States selected with balanced geographic representation across the EU (the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Denmark and Sweden). The study illustrates that Denmark, Spain and Sweden still impose VAT on food donation and that only France and Spain have corporate tax benefits in place to incentivise food donation. The study also shows that there is a general confusion with regards to the donation of foods exceeding their ‘best before’ dates and a general interest for legislation limiting liability for food donors (such as the Good Samaritan Law in Italy). The study recommends clarification around VAT liability on donated food and EU guidelines for assessing additional lifetime of products.
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