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Mexico: Policy Highlights and Opportunities

Mexico loses or wastes an estimated 20.4 million tons of food each year while at the same time, an estimated 25.5 million people are food insecure. While there is currently no comprehensive national law focused on food loss, waste, or recovery, several private-public partnerships supported by the federal government, as well as state laws and policies, have created a foundation for food donation efforts.

Atlas Research: Mexico

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Legal Guide

Learn more about the legal frameworks relevant to food donation and how Mexico's existing laws and policies support or hinder the country's progress.

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Policy Recommendations

Dive into recommendations for policymakers based on the gaps and opportunities identified in the legal guides.

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Executive Summary

Read highlights of the research findings and our high-level recommendations.

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Policy Highlights

Mexico research was published in June 2020 and was made possible with the advice and support of our on-site partners, including Banco de Alimentos de México.
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Date Labeling

Mexico has enacted federal date labeling standards, requiring manufacturers of prepackaged foods to select from either a safety-based label, referred to as the expiration date, or a quality based label, referred to as the preferred consumption date. 

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This dual-labeling scheme conveys to retailers and consumers whether the item is still suitable for sale and consumption once the affixed date has passed. In countries without a dual-labeling requirement, variation in the labels can lead to confusion and ultimately contribute to food waste. Mexico’s labeling scheme, on the other hand, is a positive step towards reducing waste and promoting greater food donation.

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Tax Incentives

Mexico provides federal tax benefits to corporate and individuals taxpayers that offer food for donation provided it is still suitable for human consumption. 

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Federal tax law allows donors to claim an annual deduction for the total value of the donation, up to 7% of the donor’s taxable income or taxable profit from the previous year and an additional 5% deduction for qualifying food donations.

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Policy Opportunities and Recommendations

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Food Safety for Donations

Mexico’s General Health Law features a provision specific to food donation, one which places a general responsibility on all organizations supplying, receiving or distributing food to comply with sanitary controls set forth in the comprehensive law. 

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However, the federal government should amend the General Health Law to distinguish food safety requirements imposed on food destined for donation from food intended for sale.

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Liability Protection for Food Donations

Mexico currently offers limited federal liability protection for food donors. To dispel concerns of food donors and food recovery organizations regarding potential liability for food donations, 

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the federal government should adopt legislation that establishes clear and comprehensive liability protection for both food donors and intermediaries.

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Government Grants and Incentives

Mexico has identified insufficient cold-chain infrastructure as well as a lack of financial support for food recovery as among the main drivers of food loss and waste. 

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Investments in cold-chain management have focused on export supply chains rather than domestic food recovery efforts, and federal grant funding has targeted rural development and poverty reduction but failed to support food donation.

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Mapping food donation policies around the world

The Atlas map compares food donation laws and policies in different countries and evaluates legislation across several issue areas. Use the map to see where your country stands and learn from best practices around the world.

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About Us

Learn about the project and the partners behind this flagship research.


Read our detailed project methodology rooted in inclusion, accuracy, and transparency.

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