Skip to content

Emily Broad Leib & Katie Sandson, The Role of Policy in Addressing Food Loss, in The Economics of Food Loss in the Produce Industry (Travis Minor, Suzanne Thornsbury & Ashok K. Mishra eds., June 30, 2021).

Abstract: This chapter analyzes two examples in which policy contributes to food waste or creates barriers to food waste reduction and recovery: regulation of expiration date labels on food products, and food safety regulations. It examines several policies that have effectively driven food waste reduction efforts, including liability protections for food donation, tax incentives for food donors, and organic waste ban policies. Universal adoption of standard quality and safety terms could drastically reduce food waste. Policy can drive food waste when there is a lack of clarity about how regulatory requirements apply to food donation. Cost is a significant barrier to food donation for businesses along the supply chain. Increasing awareness and providing guidance for the Emerson Act can reduce barriers to donation stemming from the fear of liability. The chapter focuses on federal policy and provides examples of important state and local policies.