食品ロス削減 消費者の意識改める第一歩に

The Yomiuri Shimbun July 16, 2013
New rule should be used to make society aware of immense food loss
食品ロス削減 消費者の意識改める第一歩に(7月15日付・読売社説)

The amount of food loss, or food that is still edible but is discarded, is increasing. Business corporations, consumers and the government must cooperate with each other to reduce this waste.
 まだ食べられるのに廃棄される「食品ロス」が増えている。企業と消費者、政府が連携し、削減に取り組みたい。

Seventeen million tons of food is discarded annually in this country. It is estimated that between 5 million and 8 million tons of the total is food loss. This almost equals the annual domestic rice crop and represents an immense waste.
 日本では年間1700万トンの食品廃棄物が発生し、このうち食品ロスは推計で500万~800万トンに上る。国内のコメの収穫量とほぼ同規模で、あまりにも巨大な損失である。

lst step forward

Under the leadership of the government, which had discussed ways to deal with food loss, about 40 food producers, wholesalers, and retailers such as operators of convenience stores and supermarket chains decided to start reviewing their trade practices concerning the best-before date of processed food. This can be a first step forward in the efforts to reduce food waste.
 対策を検討してきた政府が主導し、食品メーカーや卸業者、コンビニ、スーパーなど約40社が加工食品の賞味期限に関する商慣行の見直しに着手することを決めた。削減に向けた第一歩と言える。

In the food production and retail industries, there is a trade practice called the “one-third rule.” Under this rule, foodstuff is to be delivered to retailers in the first one-third of the period from the food production date to the best-before date, while in the remaining two-thirds of the period, the food is to be sold by retailers.
 食品・流通業界には「3分の1ルール」と呼ぶ商慣行がある。製造日から賞味期限までの3分の1にあたる時期を小売店への納品期限とし、残り3分の2の期間を店頭での販売期間とする。

Food whose time limit for delivery passes is returned from wholesalers to producers, and most of it is discarded, a leading factor behind the increase in food loss.
 納品期限を過ぎた食品は、卸売業者からメーカーに返品され、ほとんどが廃棄されるため、食品ロスが増える要因となってきた。

Starting next month, the 40 companies will change the one-third rule and extend the time limit for delivery to retailers to one-half of the period from the food production date to the best-before date, if only for a certain type of processed food, such as confectionery and beverages.
 約40社は8月から3分の1ルールを改め、菓子や飲料など加工食品の一部の納品期限を賞味期限の2分の1まで延ばす方針だ。

This will reduce food inventories, but it may also reduce the amount of food that is discarded.
 これによって、在庫を削減できれば、廃棄される商品を減らす効果が期待できよう。

Trimming the costs needed for returning and discarding products, and for managing inventories can lower the products’ prices, which would also benefit consumers.
 返品や廃棄、在庫管理にかかる費用を抑えることで、商品の値下げにつながり、消費者にも恩恵が及ぶのではないか。

Unless the review of the one-third rule spreads through the entire industry, however, the effect of reducing food waste will be limited. Therefore, it is important for the government and related businesses to increase the number of those businesses adopting the new rule.
 ただ、ルールの見直しが業界全体に広がらないと、削減効果は限られる。政府と業界は、参加企業の拡大を図ることが大事だ。

Business firms also need to make efforts to develop new technologies to improve such things as containers and packaging to extend the best-before date.
 企業は、容器や包装の改良で賞味期限自体を延ばすなど技術開発にも力を注ぐ必要がある。

It is also necessary to raise consumers’ awareness about food waste, primarily because households account for one-half of food loss. The government must also proactively work to raise consumers’ awareness.
 併せて問われているのは、消費者の意識改革だろう。食品ロスの半分は家庭で発生するからだ。政府は消費者の啓発活動にも積極的に取り組むべきである。

One-third rule deep rooted

The one-third rule has taken root in our society primarily because consumers prefer to buy fresher goods.
 3分の1ルールが定着した背景には、少しでも新しい食品を好む消費者の「鮮度志向」がある。

The best-before date for processed food is considered to mark the end of the period during which the food tastes its best.
Therefore, even if the food passes its best-before date, there is no need for it to be discarded right away.
 加工食品の賞味期限はおいしく食べられる期限であり、期限を過ぎても直ちに捨てる必要はない。

The best-before date is different from the expiration date for perishable food, which means one should not consume it for safety reasons beyond that date.
期限を過ぎたら食べてはいけない生鮮食品の消費期限とは違う。

If consumers seek freshness of foodstuffs excessively, food prices are likely to rise, which would be against the interests of the consumer. Although it is important for consumers to take food safety seriously, they should refrain from seeking food freshness too much.
 鮮度を過度に求めると、価格が割高になって、かえって消費者の利益を損ねる場合もある。消費者が食品の安全性に厳しい目を向けることは大切だが、過剰な鮮度志向は改めてもらいたい。

With the global supply-demand situation of foodstuffs tightening, Japan depends on imports for as much as 60 percent of its food. All of society should continue making efforts to reduce food loss.
 世界の食料需給が逼迫(ひっぱく)する中で日本は食料の6割を輸入に頼る。社会全体で食品ロスを減らす努力を続けていかねばならない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, July 15, 2013)
(2013年7月15日01時31分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2013-07-17 07:25 | 英字新聞

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