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OCU launches its "Don´t throw out your food" contest to fight against food waste

30 may. 2016

This Monday, the 30th of May, OCU launched its “Don’t throw out your food” photography competition as part of its social awareness campaign.

OCU is inviting all Spanish homes and consumers to participate in the competition by sending photos of their best homemade "tricks" to avoid wasting food. Starting today, May 30th, and until the 20th of June, consumers can send their photographs via social networks using the hash tag #stopdesperdicio. An expert panel will choose five finalists from among  all the entries. You can vote for your favourite via social networks from the 22nd to the 30th of June in order to choose the three winning photos. The winners will receive a six-month subscription to the online Masterchef school.

The purpose of this new initiative is to find out what strategies consumers use in their day-to-day lives and what advice they have with regards to avoiding throwing away food. We want to share these in order to make people aware that even the smallest gesture is important when trying to decrease food waste. Unfortunately, the data is alarming: between 30% and 50% of edible food ends up in the rubbish. According to the European Commission, Spain is number 7 on the ranking of countries that waste the most food, behind the United Kingdom, Germany, Holland, France, Poland and Italy.

Moreover, it is in homes where the most food is wasted (42% versus the 39% thrown out from the food industry). The majority of food waste in homes is due to poor planning. Here at OCU, we want to make Spanish consumers more aware of the need to change and improve small habits which can reduce the 1.3kg of food thrown out weekly in each Spanish home on average.

Additionally, the "Don't throw out your food" campaign (  advocates making donating leftover food a priority. For this reason, it is demanding that the Government and other involved administrations take real and effective measures to stop this squandering of resources and food.

In collaboration with consumers, OCU demands a regulation which incentivises and promotes donation and requires a proper management of food waste which respects the environment.

In OCU's opinion, this regulation should include the following measures:

-       Establish measures ensuring that each and every agent involved in the production, generation, distribution and commercialisation of food products donate or give the food they reject to food banks, animal feed or fertilizers, in this order.

-       Prohibit practices which involve the damaging of foods making them unusable for consumption.

-       Incentivise donations by improving the fiscal benefits for those food donations sent to food banks or NGOs.

-       Require that the best consumed by and expiration dates adhere to food quality and safety criteria and not be based on specific economic interests.

-       Promote the reuse and recycling of leftover food products which cannot be donated as such. This should be prioritised in the following manner: transformation into other products, animal feed, composting or biogas production.

For more information, please contact (media). Telephone: 91 722 60 61 –