Spending cuts block anti-waste campaign
The environment ministry has suspended a campaign scheduled for next year to raise awareness of food waste in Switzerland. About a third of the total food production is thrown away every year.
“We won’t be able to launch the campaign as the necessary financial means will not be available because of pressure to save money,” said Eliane Schmid, spokeswoman for the Federal Environment Office.
She stressed the importance of reducing food waste in the light of a sustainable resource management and a shortage of food in other parts of the world.
A recent report shows that an overwhelming majority of Swiss disapprove of squandering food but very few are aware of their own responsibility, Schmid added.
Last week, the government announced plans for spending cuts in all the seven ministries but gave no further details.
The food waste awareness campaign was due to run for three years and cost about CHF6 million ($6.3 million).
The government has been cooperating with the agriculture sector, industry, retailers as well as consumers and environmental groups to tackle the issue.
However, retailers were unwilling to help finance the campaign, according to a syndicated report in Wednesday’s editions of the Tages-Anzeiger and Der Bund newspapers.
Environmental groups are quoted as saying the suspension of the planned programme is regrettable but not a crucial element to reduce food waste. They want the government to set clear targets.
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