Waste: Swiss stores throw away 5,000 tons of meat a year


The parts would still be consumable but once the expiry date has passed, they are directly destroyed to be recycled into biogas.

The meat thrown away after the deadline has passed is transformed into biogas when it could still be consumed (illustration image).

Tamedia AG

Meat waste represents the annual consumption of 100,000 people in Switzerland, reveals this week “K-Tipp”. The consumer protection magazine estimates that 5,000 tonnes of meat products that are still edible are thrown away in stores each year.

Two to three tonnes land every week at the processing facility in Oensingen (SO) alone. Food is chopped and fermented there to produce biogas. “K-Tipp” believes that alternatives to this recycling exist. Large distributors could, for example, “take the meat out of the fridge on the last day of the use-by date, relabel it, freeze it, then offer it at a reduced price or donate it to charity”.

Migros and Coop are committed, but…

This practice would be authorized in Switzerland, recalls the magazine. The Confederation also wants to promote measures such as freezing food to drastically reduce food waste. 50% less food should be destined for biogas plants by 2030. Coop and Migros have signed an action plan along these lines, but are struggling to take concrete action.

Asked by “K-Tipp”, Coop explains that it “cannot implement the directives aimed at fully guaranteeing the cold chain”, and Migros also reports challenges in planning, explaining that in the summer period, purchases for barbecues are highly dependent on the weather.

The president of the Foodwaste.ch association, Claudio Beretta, criticizes the attitude of the large distributors: “Every ton of meat that ends up in a biogas plant is a huge waste of food, because the meat could be consumed without any problem.” And “K-Tipp” to cite Globus as an example to follow. The company makes its meat available, once the expiry date has passed, directly to the free distribution of meals for the poor and homeless at the Europaallee in Zurich.


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