Based on available information, a working group created by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs is assigned with preparing a draft of the Law on food excesses and which will then be submitted to the Government for adoption in the following period. If this is realized Serbia could become the first country in the region that has passed such a regulation.
This topic could be actualized at the end of this year / beginning of next year.
The working group is looking at the French model , as this country already disposes with legislation of similar content that prevents throwing away or destroying unsold food (refers to food within expiry date limits) and encourages food donations to the „food banks“ and charities by regulating the terms of concluding overstock donation agreements.
Even though it is perhaps too early to discuss, in the following period it will be necessary to conduct feasibility studies, in order to thoroughly prepare the market for such a novelty and to create necessary conditions for enforcement and prevention of misuses; this ought to result in adoption of well-conceived and functional regulations which will provide clear and reliable legal support to the retail chains and other entities which are willing to donate food to those who are most in need.
Also, it will be very important to involve other competent bodies in this process, not only in the phase of preparation of this regulation, but at later stages of its enforcement as well. Here we would especially emphasize the role of the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection which should propose the criteria for the manner of control and safety of donated food, and the Ministry of Finance, whose role is to define incentives/relief for those socially responsible participating in donations (some options could be VAT exemption or other tax incentives usually granted in similar cases). Keeping in mind the social and economic situation, but also the presence of some participants on the market that already interested in or principally supporting this initiative, it is certain that this legal solution would be of wider social interest, as it would – to the benefit of all parties involved – channel the food excesses to the most vulnerable population.