Moscow, 14 September 2017 - The Expert Council for Food Waste Management, which was formed by PwC Russia and the Charity Fund Foodbank Rus, held its first meeting in PwC Russia’s Moscow office.
The idea of the council was proposed this year during the 21st St Petersburg International Economic Forum and it has received support from leading retailers, food manufacturers and catering services. The council features representatives from PepsiCo, X5 Retail Group, P&G, Unilever, Mondelзz, Diksy, Bonduelle-Kuban, the Prodo Group, Coca Cola and other companies. The group discussed draft amendments to the Russian Tax Code that would encourage companies to donate more goods to charity. The need for changes to the tax code is because of the fact that current laws entail an additional tax burden when donating goods to charity. These VAT and income tax losses can account for as much as 38% of the cost of donated products. The proposed amendments would eliminate this injustice and in turn make donating to charity more attractive for all market participants.
“The established expert council is an advisory body that will encourage more efficient cooperation between all stakeholders in order to provide a greater supply of food to socially vulnerable groups, reduce food surplus and save resources. PwC is willing to bring in highly qualified specialists to implement this project and act as its coordinator. The first stage of our work is to achieve long overdue changes in tax legislation”.
“The current tax system considerably slows down programmes that redistribute surplus food. When donating goods to a charity organisation, legal entities cannot claim a tax refund, nor can they deduct the VAT charged by vendors on raw materials that are used in the production of goods donated to charity. It is cheaper therefore for many manufacturers and retailers to wait for the shelf life of goods to expire and dispose of them rather than donate them to charity”.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), 1.3bn tons of food products are thrown away every year, a third of all manufactured products. The UN has named reducing food waste as one of its sustainable development goals. Last year, France and Italy adopted laws prohibiting large supermarkets from throwing away unsold food, instead requiring them to donate such goods to charity.
“France was the first country to seriously tackle the food waste issue at the legislative level and we are glad that many countries today are following suit. I believe that the PwC and Rus Food Bank initiative will lead to large-scale changes and progress in how food waste is managed in Russia”.
1. PwC and the Charity Fund Foodbank Rus announced the launch of a new food waste management project at the XXI Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum.
PwC Russia (www.pwc.ru) provides industry-focused assurance, tax, legal and advisory services. Over 2,500 people work in our offices in Moscow, St Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Kazan, Novosibirsk, Rostov-on-Don, Krasnodar, Voronezh, Vladikavkaz and Ufa. We use our in-depth knowledge, wealth of experience and creative approach to problem-solving to develop fresh perspectives, sound advice and practical solutions that can open up new vistas for business.
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The Charity Fund FoodBank Rus is a nationwide charitable foundation that focuses on donating food to disadvantaged social groups in all regions of the Russian Federation. Since 2012, the Foundation has distributed over 15,000 tonnes of food and basic necessities. Working under signed agreements with the largest Russian producers, the Foodbank Rus receives regular donations from food processing plants and warehouses all across the country. Over the past four years, the Foundation has developed an entire system for collecting surplus food from manufacturers and distributing it to those in need.