Food wastage on the rise, but F&B companies not keen to donate

PHOTO: The New Paper

Singapore generates 788,600 tonnes of food waste.

This means each Singaporean contributes about 146kg of food waste yearly, based on figures released by the National Environment Agency in 2014.

The amount has increased by 48 per cent in the past decade.

Households, supermarkets, catering and bakery businesses all contribute to this situation.

Food waste is generated daily through our food cycle: production, distribution, retail and consumption.

"Wastage occurs due to various reasons such as food spoilage due to improper storage or handling, edible food discarded due to blemished appearances, and when individuals overestimate their appetites," says Mr Eugene Tay, executive director of Zero Waste SG.

He says because Singapore is relatively more affluent and there are more food choices available, people end up buying more than they can consume.

Despite the wastage, food and beverage companies are not so keen to donate excess and unsold food.

This could be because of food poisoning and legal liability issues, says lawyer Luke Lee, 63.

"The party providing the food item may be liable in court. Though the chances of them being liable for damages is not high, you can't discount that possibility," he says.

boeylw@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on May 1, 2016.
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