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Regulatory development of Catalonian Law 3/2020: One step further in the fight against Food Loss and Waste


Catalonia has a long history of working towards the prevention of Food Loss and Waste (FLW), implementing a multifaceted approach that reflects its commitment to sustainability and resource efficiency. Beyond all the work done, the Law 3/2020, of March 11, 2020, was the turning point in the fight against food losses and waste in Catalonia. A pioneer law in the European Union and even worldwide.

Currently, with the kick off of the regulatory development, the specific aspects of the Law are being defined and specified through the Decree, after two public inquiries with the participation of a great number of stakeholders. The observations on the Decree are now being taken into consideration by the Catalan Government to the proper improvement of the law with the alignment and great acceptance of the agri-food sector in Catalonia.  

Reasons for the regulatory development:

  • Clarify technical aspects: The Law 3/2020 establishes a general framework, but regulations are needed to specify the details of its application. This includes technical aspects such as: the minimum content and the procedure to implement FLW Prevention Plan; the measures to apply the food hierarchy; the Monitoring and Information System to quantify and Declare Food Losses and Waste; the content of the Strategic Plan on Food Losses and Food Waste; the promotion of tools and instruments to implement a Food Loss and Waste Plan; the description of unfair commercial practices; the regulation of the gleaning aspects and the establishment of the competence organisms to exercise the penalties and sanctions.
  • Adapt to the specificities of each sector: The food chain is complex and diverse, so it is necessary to consider the particularities of each sector. This will allow for more effective application of the Law and greater involvement of the agents involved.
  • Guarantee equal treatment: The regulations must ensure that all companies and entities in the food chain are subject to the same obligations, regardless of their size or location. This is essential to avoid unfair competition and to guarantee the effectiveness of the law.

In light of the aforementioned regional developments, let us proceed to consider the national implications:

While in Catalonia the Government is currently working on the regulatory development of Law 3/2020 in Catalonia, it is worth highlighting the recent resumption of the draft law on the prevention of FLW by the Spanish government. This law, which has been processed in the Congress of Deputies, aims to establish a state legal framework for the prevention of FLW, in line with what has already been done in Catalonia and other European countries.

The approval of this law would be an important step in the fight against food losses and waste in Spain, as it would allow to:

  • Reduce food losses and waste throughout the Spanish territory.
  • Make better use of food resources.
  • Fight against poverty and hunger.
  • Protect the environment and fight against climate change.

In short, the regulatory development of Law 3/2020 and the approval of the state law on the prevention of food loss and waste would be decisive steps in making Spain a pioneer country in the fight against this global problem.


The enactment of Law 3/2020 and the subsequent approval of the state law represent crucial steps towards achieving the objective of preventing and minimizing Food Loss and Waste. These regulations will facilitate a more effective and coordinated approach to combat FLW, thereby contributing to the establishment of a more sustainable and equitable society.

The FOLOU project, drawing upon the extensive experience gained throughout the Catalan Government’s regulatory process, is poised to become a pivotal initiative in further developing FLW prevention measures within the primary sector, extending beyond the scope of EU regulations.