​Arash Derambarsh, winner of the Win Win Gothenburg Sustainability Award 2019. Photo: Eugenie de Lozada.​​​​

Recieves the Win win award for stopping food waste

​The 2019 Win win Prize is awarded to French judge Arash Derambarsh, who managed to ban French grocery stores and restaurants from throwing away food. Thanks to the new French law, all the raw materials and food products that used to go directly to the garbage are used.
Arash Derambarsh is a judge and politician. He had an early interest in the food waste issue, an issue which, thanks to the French food culture, has a high level of involvement in France. When he managed to get 21,000 signatures for his bill which was to legislate against food stores destroying and throwing edible food the question was raised in the French Parliament and in February 2016 the bill was passe. The food is now taken care of by charity organizations or so-called food banks and helps people who otherwise have gone hungry.

“Arash Derambarsh and his work are an excellent example that we can all influence on a higher level than the individual. His focus is on changing attitudes and raising the issue of unnecessary food waste to a social legal level. The French law no longer allows the huge waste of resources that a non-circular food supply entails, and there Arash Derambarsh is a key figure and example”, says Emma Dalväg, jury chairman of the Win win Gothenburg Sustainability Award.


Calls on EU to do the same

Arash Derambarsh himself rather focuses on the effect of the law than on his own part in that it has gone through. The most important thing is that the law is of use for those who need it, he says.

“It is a great honor for me to receive this award, but as a person I am really unimportant in the context. The important thing is the law against food waste and that it will benefit those who should benefit from it: people living in economic vulnerability, homelessness and without a social safety net.
I urge both the EU and individual countries to introduce similar laws as those we now have in France. Until today, we have saved 10 million meals, which, thanks to the law, have been of benefit for charity organizations”, says Arash Derambarsh.


Win win Gothenburg Sustainability Award is handed out on the Gothenburg Opera on October 31st.


Text: Erik Krång

Picture: Eugenie de Lozada


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The jury's justification

The food supply is not only fundamental to our survival, it also has one of the greatest impacts on our global environment. It also embodies one of the most difficult global paradoxes to solve – with a third of the food that is produced being discarded or wasted, while people go hungry.
Not only has this year’s award winner succeeded in highlighting this intricate paradox and fundamental injustice, but with his drive and action he has developed concrete measures entailing real change.
Arash Derambarsch’s ideas, initiative and effort to reduce food waste have resulted in a change in the law in France prohibiting French food stores and restaurants from discarding or destroying food that cannot be sold. The law requires them to cooperate with charities or “food banks” instead, so that the food benefits those in need.
The UN’s Global Goals include halving global food waste throughout the food chain by 2030. To achieve this goal, a change of attitude is needed, not only at the consumer level, but also in terms of systematic changes such as the French law on food waste.
Arash Derambarsch’s work has inspired people around the world and helped raise the issue of food waste on the global agenda. He has shown by example that it is possible to make a difference and to take concrete steps in the direction of sustainability in terms of food waste.

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Published: Tue 28 May 2019.