Israel: Policy Highlights and Opportunities
While Israel ranks higher than much of the world on issues such as food affordability, availability, and safety, Israel falls below the global average on food security, with 19% of the population facing food insecurity. Roughly 50% of food wasted in Israel could be recovered to feed those who are food insecure.
Atlas Research: Israel
Israel research was published in June 2023 and was made possible with the advice and support of our on-site partners, including Leket Israel.
Israel offers liability protections for food donations through the 2018 Food Donation Encouragement Law, which grants civil and criminal liability protection for food donors and food distribution organizations,
provided all relevant laws were followed and they did not act negligently. Food donation activity would benefit from public awareness and education campaigns.
Food Safety for Donations
The Public Health (Food) Protection Law (PHPL) contains several sections that specifically address food redistribution and food distribution organizations, including an exemption from acquiring production,
transportation, and storage licenses, thereby reducing unnecessary burdens in the food donation process. The PHPL also permits the donation of food not sensitive to spoilage past the expiration date with permission from the manufacturer.
Israel employs a dual date labeling scheme, differentiating between foods sensitive to spoilage and those that are not. Even after the quality-based date, non-sensitive foods are often still safe to consume if stored correctly without damaged packaging.
The PHPL permits food distribution organizations to redistribute non-sensitive foods past the recommended date of use provided they have written authorization from the manufacturer.
Policy Opportunities and Recommendations
Israel currently does not impose a national food donation requirement, organic waste ban, or food waste penalty. Such a law has been considered in Israel due to heightened attention to the ecological damage associated with organic waste.
The Israeli government should adopt nationwide policies that would require the donation of surplus food or restrict the ability to send food to landfills.
Government Grants & Incentives
To date, Israel does not offer significant national grants initiated specifically to support on-farm food recovery or food donation infrastructure, nor is there government funding allocated to support the research, development,
innovation, or human resources necessary to maintain and bolster food recovery operations.