New Harvard Research Assesses Food Donation in Paraguay to Address Food Waste, Hunger, and Climate Crisis

The Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic, The Global FoodBanking Network, and Fundación Banco de Alimentos Paraguay identify policy recommendations to decrease food waste, support food donation, and combat climate change in Paraguay.

April 11, 2023: Today, the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) and The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) released a new analysis of food donation laws and policies in Paraguay as well as recommendations on how leaders in Paraguay can improve food donation laws and policies to help reduce food waste, feed people experiencing food insecurity, and mitigate climate change. The analysis and recommendations are part of The Global Food Donation Policy Atlas, which maps laws and policies affecting food donation around the world.

More than 500,000 tons of food a year are wasted by households in Paraguay while about 25% of the population experiences food insecurity. Most of the wasted food is nutritious and safe for consumption and could be diverted to people facing hunger. Instead, it most often ends up in landfills, where it decomposes and produces potent greenhouse gases, including methane.

The new research from FLPC and GFN, with significant input and collaboration from Fundación Banco de Alimentos Paraguay—the food bank in Paraguay, identifies four key policy opportunities in the country to reduce its food loss and waste, including:

  1. Produce and disseminate guidance that explains requirements in Paraguay’s recently passed Food Donation Law to obtain liability protection when donating food, in order to help industry and the general public understand the protection offered.
  2. Establish a dual-date labeling regime that creates two standard date label phrases and explicitly defines one as a quality-based label and the other as a safety-based label.
  3. Offer tax credits and increase the cap on tax deductions for food donations made to food recovery organizations.
  4. Mitigate the cost of food donation through government grants and incentives to support food recovery infrastructure and encourage food donation.

“Our research, conducted in partnership with GFN and Fundación Banco de Alimentos Paraguay, demonstrates how Paraguayan policymakers have already shown leadership by providing new food donation liability protection, as well as how Paraguayan leaders can take further steps to help feed people, reduce food waste, and mitigate climate change,” said Emily Broad Leib, clinical professor of law at Harvard Law School and faculty director of the FLPC. “These problems are solvable and our work is a how-to guide to getting it done.”

“The effect produced by this research is necessary for a country context such as Paraguay,” said Hugo Daniel Vazquez, President of Fundación Banco de Alimentos Paraguay. “The results provide us with knowledge about the possible policy impacts of receiving and redistributing donated food from companies and society. In addition, it leaves us with recommendations to improve the policy landscape. Adding more donors and receiving a greater volume of food is our daily, weekly, monthly, and annual goal. Providing food solutions to thousands of people is our goal. Doing so with an improved legal framework will strengthen our ability to meet people’s basic needs in situations of food vulnerability.”

“An estimated 702-828 million people are facing hunger globally, and that number is likely to rise as food price spikes, supply chain issues, and climate change continue to strain our food systems,” said Lisa Moon, president and CEO of The Global FoodBanking Network. “Food banks help ensure more people have access to food while also reducing food loss and waste. Strong food donation policies are absolutely critical to this work—they help food banks serve their communities in the most effective and efficient way.”

The Global Food Donation Policy Atlassupported by Walmart Foundation, identifies existing laws and policies that support or hinder food recovery and donation in a comprehensive Legal Guide and offers Policy Recommendations for strengthening frameworks and adopting new measures to fill existing gaps. The analyses featured in these country-specific reports are also encapsulated in an interactive Atlas tool that allows users to compare policies between countries participating in the project.

Atlas project research is available for 22 countries: Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Ghana, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Paraguay, Peru, Singapore, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States. An interactive map, Legal Guides, Policy Recommendations, and Executive Summaries for each country are available at

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