Supermarkets in Britain are donating very little of their surplus food to charity compared with those in other European countries, reports The Times.
According to the study, Britain’s retailers and suppliers donated only 5,900 tonnes of food to the charity last year compared to 118,000 tonnes from Spain, France-100,000 tonnes, Italy 72,000 tonnes and Poland 64,000 tonnes.
The study, prepared by the European Federation of Food Banks, stated that even Belgium ensured that 12,000 tonnes of food reached the needy each year despite having a population of almost six times smaller than Britain.
Frank Field, the former Labour welfare minister who is leading an inquiry into food poverty, said that other European countries had made the donation of food a cheap option for the industry by using EU money to subsidise the cost of redistributing the surplus to charity.
The former minister said that Britain had declined to follow suit, choosing instead to subsidise anaerobic digestion plants, which turned edible food into green energy. The decision means that it is often cheaper for supermarkets to send surplus food to create power than to send it to charities to feed families, The Times reported.