The Saudi Food Bank, Eta’am, urged the authorities to set a fine of SR 1000 per one kilo of surplus food. The call followed a report by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which revealed that the country topped the world’s food waste index with a staggering 427 tons per year.
The Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture previously estimated that the Kingdom’s food waste percentage was at 40 percent.
Eta’am ‘s Secretary-General Faisal Shoshan told Al-Arabiya English that the organization submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs’ branch in Dammam to impose a mandatory agreement between food preservation centers and restaurants and wedding halls to help combat food wastage.
It also submitted a similar proposal calling for the ministry to license agreements between organizations and hotels.
Shoshan said imposing a fine on surplus food and enforcing mandatory agreements between hotels, wedding halls and restaurants and environmental and food preservation centers will help limit the amount of food waste.
He added, “During the first and second quarters of this year, the organization managed to preserve more than 1.8 million meals and more than 500,000 baskets of fresh fruit and vegetables that were given to more than 2,500 families in the Eastern Province, Riyadh and Jeddah. This was a 51 percent growth compared to last year, which goes to show that Eta’am continues to launch initiatives to help combat food wastage.”