The project launched by Federcongressi&eventi and the non-profit organisations Banco Alimentare and Equoevento was one of Italy’s best practices to combat food waste presented on May 22nd to the European Parliament in Brussels during the conference “Less waste, more solidarity –The Italian Case and the Good National Practices”.

FoodforGood EUParliment2018

The conference was held in front of a large audience of European MEPs, Commissioners and stakeholders, and showed how, since the approval of the law on food waste in 2016, Italy has set off on a virtuous path towards recovering surplus food, providing a source of inspiration for the whole of the European Union.

Food for Good, recently included among the best practices on the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste, was presented by the President of Federcongressi&eventi, Alessandra Albarelli, who set out the project’s numbers and objectives: “Since its launch, Food for Good has enabled the recovery of approximately 80,000 prepared dishes and more than 5,000 kilograms of bread and fruit, from more than 200 conventions, meetings and congresses.

Less waste, more solidarity – The Italian Case and the Good National Practices was opened by a welcome address by Honourable Patrizia Toia, who recalled: “Food should not be thrown away. It’s an ethical, economic, social and environmental problem. The laws of the market economy cannot allow us to abdicate our moral and political duties. For years, the issue has been at the centre of debate and complaints. At the European Parliament, we have an intergroup on the social economy to combat this kind of problem and today, finally, something is changing in Europe, partly thanks to Italy. On 19 August 2016, our country approved the law on food waste, which has quickly become a reference model in the EU. The European Union is one of the richest regions in the world and is also leading the way on the environment and the circular economy. The time has come to seriously tackle the issue of food waste and to consider adopting and extending national best practices, starting with those from Italy”.

The conference continued with speeches by: Tim Gumbel, Deputy Head of the E1 unit – Information, food composition and food waste – DG SANTE – European Commission; Giuliana Del Papa, coordinator of the Agrifish Sector – Permanent Representative at the EU; Maria Chiara Gadda, deputy of the Italian Parliament and promotor of Law 166/2016 (law on food waste); Zoffoli Damiano, member of the ENVI Commission; Elena Gentile, Vice-President of the Social Economy Parliamentary Intergroup; and Felice Assenza, Chairman of the Italian Roundtable for the fight against food waste and for food aid, General Director for International and European Politics, Italian Agriculture and Forestry Ministry. The first half of the conference was closed with the video projection From words to action: surplus food management to tackle food poverty and food waste presented by Alessandro Perego, Full Professor of Logistics and Production Systems Management and Logistics Management of the Polytechnic University of Milan.

Italian best practices
The event continued with the presentation of Italian best practices to combat food waste, moderated by Marco Lucchini, General Secretary of Banco Alimentare, who commented: “The launch of activities to recover fresh and cooked food from events and conferences coincided with Banco Alimentare reaching an important milestone.

Recovering food requires great commitment and logistical effort: surplus food must be handled carefully from a hygiene-sanitary viewpoint, and must be recovered and consumed very quickly. We are however proud that these efforts turn into meals for guests at canteens, who can taste refined and highly nutritious food, often produced by great chefs".

How the Food for Good project works
Food for Good (project liked by IMEX) enables food that is not consumed during conferences, conventions, meetings and events to be recovered and donated to charities such as foster homes, soup kitchens for the poor and refugee centres. Through the volunteers of Banco Alimentare and Equoevento, Federcongressi&eventi puts the heads of the catering companies in touch with the nearest non-profit organisation to the event venue, so that it can arrange for the recovery of the surplus food quickly and in complete safety, in line with the regulations in force. Procedures for signing up to Food for Good, the guidelines for the recovery of food from catering companies and the operational procedures for event organisers are available on the Federcongressi&eventi website, www.federcongressi.it.