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RE-fished: from the illegal to the solidarity market

 22-10-2020

Catania, 25 September 2020 - Intesa Sanpaolo and Banco Alimentare introduced, at the Sicilian Agro-Food Markets (MAAS), the national project “RE-fished: from the illegal market to the solidarity market” aimed at the recovery, processing and redistribution of fish confiscated by control authorities as resulting from illegal fishing practices.

Intesa Sanpaolo, in collaboration with Banco Alimentare - already a partner of the Bank as it has been supporting its mission for several years, which involves the recovery and collection of food in order to redistribute it to charitable organizations that support people in need in Italy - has promoted and supported the new project to ensure that the product, highly perishable and at the same time with a high nutritional value, is intended for those who live in situations of social and economic difficulty.

Sicily is indeed, the first region in which the initiative developed thanks to the joint collaboration of various subjects: the Sicilian Port Authorities, the MAAS - Sicilian Agro-Food Markets, the Italian Society of Preventive Veterinary Medicine and the charitable organizations affiliated with the network of Fondazione Banco Alimentare. In the first 18 months of experimentation, the project allowed the distribution of about 83.000 meals to people in need thanks to the recovery of over 12.000 kg of poached fish.

The activity is articulated into several phases. The product, after confiscation, is stored in suitable cold rooms, until certification of suitability for human consumption by the ASP within 24 - 48 hours. Later it is transferred with special refrigerated vans to local cooperatives to be processed, frozen and finally distributed to Sicilian charitable organizations.

The social impact and benefits of the project are different: the containment of food waste, the protection of health, the respect for the values of lawfulness (it could be placed on the market illegally), the safeguarding of the local economy and employment. The development of this project and its innovative recovery model may be extended from the Sicilian territory to other coastal regions in Italy in the coming months, achieving some of the most important sustainable development goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Finally, RE-fished is a candidate to be one of the best practices in the first International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste established by the United Nations on 29 September to make the world population aware of the importance of this issue.

Read the original article (in Italian) here.

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