China's top economic planner steps up mechanism against food waste to ensure food security
Published: Jul 22, 2022 12:15 AM
A student is on the way to return his empty plate at a primary school in Changning District of Shanghai, east China, Sept. 2, 2020. The school promotes the
A student is on the way to return his empty plate at a primary school in Changning district of Shanghai, East China, September 2, 2020. Photo: Xinhua

China's top economic planner, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said it will step up efforts to reduce food waste at a meeting on grain saving and prevention of food waste on Thursday.

The NDRC wowed to further improve the mechanism against food waste in the catering industry and revise standards and norms to reduce food waste in a bid to ensure the nation's food security.

The NDRC said it will revise the food waste evaluation standards and guidelines for law enforcement and inspection, establish a statistical, monitoring and evaluation system for grain loss and food waste, launch special campaigns against food waste and promote food conservation in the catering industry, government canteens, schools, enterprises and households.

In the first half of the year, initial achievements have been made in curbing food waste, the loss in grain storage has been significantly reduced and the transportation of grain has been constantly optimized, the NDRC said.

China has been clamping down on food waste and adopted a law against food waste last April in a bid to safeguard the country's food security.

The law stipulates that catering service providers can charge a disposal fee to customers who leave excessive amounts of food waste but the rates must be clearly displayed, Xinhua News Agency reported.

Catering service providers are also required to remind customers of their duty of avoiding food waste. Restaurants found guilty of inducing or misleading behaviors that lead diners to waste food will receive a warning. Serious violators will be fined up to 10,000 yuan ($1,546).

With the law in place, online bloggers will be banned from livestreaming binge eating. Media outlets that publish such content will receive a warning and, if their violations are deemed severe, they will be shut down according to the law.

China's grain production has been stabilized to over 1.3 trillion jin (650 billion kilograms) for seven consecutive years making the country the largest grain producer. However, food waste has been a lingering threat to the country's food security.

Approximately 18 billion kilograms of food are wasted every year in China's urban catering industry, Xinhua News Agency reported in 2021, citing a nationwide field research carried out by deputies to the National People's Congress.

The country also loses over 35 billion kilograms of grain at pre-consumption stages, including storage, transportation and processing, the report added.