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
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.
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.
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.
Mexico provides federal tax benefits to corporate and individuals taxpayers that offer food for donation provided it is still suitable for human consumption.
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.
Policy Opportunities and Recommendations
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.
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.
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,
the federal government should adopt legislation that establishes clear and comprehensive liability protection for both food donors and intermediaries.
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.
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.