Chile: Policy Highlights and Opportunities
Reports suggest more than half of the food produced in Chile is lost or wasted each year. Meanwhile, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, an estimated 13.6% of the population was food insecure. The Chilean government has responded to these complex food system issues, creating a National Committee for the Prevention of Food Losses and Waste and adopting progressive nutrition legislation in recent years.
Atlas Research: Chile
Chile research was published in March 2021 and was made possible with the advice and support of our on-site partners, including Red de Alimentos.
Chile’s Food Sanitary Regulation (RSA) introduced a standard date labeling scheme, which requires manufacturers to affix an “expiration date” to packaged food products and invites the use of a voluntary, quality-based “minimum duration date” label.
The Regulation notes a distinction between these two labels and does not expressly prohibit the donation of safe, surplus food after the “minimum duration date,” which is intended to convey “peak quality” rather than safety.
Tax Incentives and Barriers
Chile has established a national income tax regime that serves to incentivize individual and corporate taxpayers that donate rather than discard safe, surplus food. Taxpayers are eligible to claim tax deductions and credits up to 5% of their taxable net income for monetary donations made to a registered nonprofit organization.
Food businesses may also deduct the total value of food donated to nonprofit entities that deliver the food free of charge to those in need.
Policy Opportunities and Recommendations
Food Safety for Donations
To clarify which food safety provisions apply to donated food, the national government should update the RSA to include a donation-specific section or adopt a decree that clarifies food safety provisions relevant to donated food.
The Ministry of Health should offer clarifying guidance that addresses whether prohibitions or restrictions on the sale of foods high in sugar, salt, fat, or other nutrients may also impact donations.
Liability Protection for Food Donation
Chile should adopt legislation that protects food donors and food recovery organizations from legal liability when they act in “good faith” and adhere to relevant law, similar to protections offered in Argentina.
Comprehensive liability protections should extend to donations offered for a nominal fee and to donors who directly donate to final recipients.