China: Policy Highlights and Opportunities
Each year, approximately 27% of all food in China is either lost or wasted along the supply chain, making up approximately one-quarter of the world’s total food loss and waste. Reducing FLW is a priority in China. The recent Clean Plate Campaigns 1.0 and 2.0 focus on anti-food waste rhetoric in the culture of extravagant feasts and consumer-targeted media. The government also enacted the 2020 Anti-Food Waste Law, which launched initiatives to fight food waste.
Atlas Research: China
China research was published in March 2023.
Tax Incentives and Barriers
Under Chinese law, businesses may deduct their charitable donations up to 12% of the annual profit from their taxable income.
If the charitable donation exceeds 12% of the company’s profit in a given year, the excess amount may carry over for deduction within three years.
Donation Requirements and Food Waste Penalities
China’s Anti-Food Waste Law is a novel approach to minimizing national FLW and modulating behavior around food waste.
The law penalizes wasteful behavior such as misleading consumers into ordering excessive amounts of food and failing to implement food waste prevention measures.
Policy Opportunities and Recommendations
Food Safety for Donations
As the relevant government departments draft regulations for the Anti-Food Waste Law, they should be sure to include clear and specific guidance on which food safety provisions apply to donated food.
In addition, government guidance tailored to specific stakeholders will also reduce confusion around safety for food donations and instill confidence in donors and recipient organizations, thereby increasing rates of donation.
Liability Protection for Food Donation
To ensure that food donors and recovery organizations are adequately protected against potential legal liability arising from claims of harm, China should adopt
legislation that protects those that act in “good faith” and adhere to relevant laws, similar to protections offered in the United States, Brazil, and Argentina.
Government Grants and Incentives
The Anti-Food Waste Law provides several opportunities for creating grant and incentive programs. In order to maximize these opportunities, the government
should create grant opportunities for food donation infrastructure and implement government procurement policies that support food donation and food waste mitigation.