Past event

Food waste in Polish schools, 14th May 2014

The BPCC's Food and Corporate Social Responsibility policy groups held a joint meeting at the British Embassy on 14 May to consider food waste, focusing on the social initiatives that can be taken to promote broader awareness of the issue.


Tesco's Patrycja Bejm-Maras and Marta Marczuk presented the activities around this issues that currently being organised around Poland as part of the Tesco dla szkół ('Tesco for schools') initiative. Tesco dla szkół reaches over 7,000 schools. As part of the food-waste campaign, school children shot 600 films to educate their local communities about cutting food waste. Thanks to research conducted among school children, Tesco learned what types of food are most likely to end up in the bin – and then launched a campaign informing pupils about the benefits of avoiding food waste.

Marek Borowski, president of the Polish federation of food banks (FPBŻ), talked about cooperation between food backs, which help feed three million needy people a year in Poland, and stores such as Tesco. NGOs such as food banks form a vital link between large corporations and social problems.

The meeting offered a chance for representatives of BPCC members to talk directly with the public sector and NGOs. Teresa Szopińska-Grodzka from the department for improving educational chances at the Ministry of Education talked about the government's healthy eating policy. Andrzej Gantner, director-general of the Polish food producers' federation, PFPŻ and Andrzej Faliński, director-general of the Polish retailer's association POHiD, gave their members' perspective on the food waste issue. Initiatives such as promoting the reading of food labels and responsible consumption were mentioned.

There was a consensus of opinion that self-regulation of the food sector was more effective than increased regulation at national level, where the risk of new legal absurdities was ever-present. Bottom-up initiatives, cooperation between NGOs and corporations showed that the long-term interest of business is to continually strive towards greater sustainability without necessarily being regulated by government.