Lawmakers on Tuesday passed an amendment to the law regulating supermarkets which requires the retailers, from February next year, to offer food to the needy within 48 hours of its sell-by date.
The amendment passed with 138 votes in favour and 1 against.
The law applies to grocery chains whose annual net revenue exceeds 100 billion forints (EUR 272.5m).
Supermarkets will have the option of donating the food to a new state-owned nonprofit, the Food Rescue Centre, or directly to charity organisations.
They will also be required to draw up a plan to reduce their food waste and appoint a manager in charge of saving food.
Grocery chains that fail to submit their plan to the Food Rescue Centre or exceed their annual planned food waste by over 2 percent can be fined.
The law’s justification cites data from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) indicating that around one-third of food produced for human consumption is wasted globally. According to a European Union study,
more than 5 percent of that food is wasted through retail and wholesale.
The amendment enters into effect on Feb. 1, 2022.