At a time when food waste is a real global scourge, France is not doing so badly. According to the Food Sustainability Index, developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit and the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition, France is at the top of the list of countries fighting against food waste.
For the purposes of the study, the investigators assessed 34 countries according to three main axes: food loss and waste, sustainable agriculture and nutritional challenges. These countries account for more than 85% of global GDP and two-thirds of the world's population.
France's acheivements are thanks to "action against waste at governmental and decision-making levels," according to AFP. Last year, a new law was passed prohibiting supermarkets from throwing out foodstuffs approaching their expiry date, with the surplus given to charities and food banks.
In the same vein, France has also run a campaign reminding consumers that 'ugly' fruits and vegetables are quite fit for consumption.
Despite this, much remains to be done. Indeed, if France "spoils less than 2% of its total annual food production," annual food waste per individual still amounts to 106kg. Not far behind France are countries such as Japan, Germany, Spain and Sweden, while at the very bottom of the ranking is the United Arab Emirates, where food waste and rates of obesity continue to rise.
Finally, Italy leads the world with the most viable agriculture, while Japan ranks first in the field of nutrition.