Food Sharing and the Regulatory Situation in Europe. An Introduction

  • Alessandra PelleritoEmail author
  • Ralf Dounz-Weigt
  • Maria Micali
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Molecular Science book series (BRIEFSMOLECULAR)


The current food production in the industrialised world is apparently facing and interesting paradox: the intensive flow of many food and beverage commodities, year by year, on the one hand, and the concomitant elimination of unused portions of produced edible products. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, 88 million tonnes of food produced for human consumption are get wasted annually in the European Union, and associated costs exceed 140 billion Euros. Apparently, the greatest responsibilities for food waste are reported in countries with medium/high-income values if compared with developing nations. However, the genesis of wasted food appears questioned and extremely debated: food waste appears after harvest and during processing steps in developing countries and at the retail and consumer level in industrialised nations. Certainly, food waste is a phenomenon occurring in industrialised countries such as Germany: a notable part of food waste happens because of consumers’ behaviour, although food retailers may give a significant contribution. The remaining part appears to be localised in the food industry. Consequently, the recently observed ‘food sharing’ communities have been created with a basic aim: to save food and give it to suffering people ‘for free’. Could food sharing may be a solution? Organisations such as food banks and social supermarkets should be analysed and evaluated; specific regulations could be elaborated. Otherwise, recovered (and possibly degraded) products could be unsafe. This chapter explores the current situation and the regulatory definition of food sharing, with specific relation to different European countries.


European Union Food bank Food sharing Food supply chain Food waste Social supermarket Sustainable Development Goals 





European Union


Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


Food and beverage


Food supply chain


Food waste


Fresh fruits and vegetable




Social supermarket


Sustainable Development Goal


United States of America


United Kingdom


Waste and Resources Action Programme


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandra Pellerito
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ralf Dounz-Weigt
    • 2
  • Maria Micali
    • 3
  1. 1.Food Safety ConsultantPalermoItaly
  2. 2.Food Sharing ExpertMagdeburgGermany
  3. 3.Industrial ConsultantSanta Margherita MarinaItaly

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