This year, on the occasion of the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables (IYFV), FEBA’s Annual Forum on Food Aid and Social Inclusion took place on 14 December 2021 as the webinar “Fruits and vegetables for human development: let’s take action!”. In collaboration with Italmercati, it aimed to raise awareness and share examples of good practices to reiterate the importance of the recovery and redistribution of fruits and vegetables, which are a crucial component of nutritional, healthy diets.
During the event, distinguished speakers took the stage to address the topic from different perspectives. Firstly, Rosa Rolle (FAO) focused on the IYFV in a global context and then Anne-Laure Gassin (EU Commission, DG Health and Food Safety) zoomed in to the European level presenting the EU’s work on food waste prevention and the support of food donation. Thereafter, Karen Van De Putte (EU Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion) introduced the audience to “Off-the-shelf” tools for food donation, highlighting the study on Simplified Cost Options (SCO) to which FEBA and its members in France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, and Lithuania contributed and the opportunity provided by the ESF+ to cover the expenditure of food donations. The final version of the report has been published in November 2021. As the last speaker of the institutional panel, Cecilia Bartolucci (Fondazione Comitans) shed light on the nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables especially for child development.
The second panel featured FEBA Members’ representatives Dimitris Nentas (Food Bank Greece, Greece), Paula Capodistrias (Matsentralen Norge, Norway), Pedro Castaños Ruiz (Federación Española de Bancos de Alimentos, Spain), and Domenico Messina (Associazione Banco Alimentare della Sicilia Onlus, Italy) who shared their experience as regards the recovery and redistribution of fruits and vegetables. Moreover, Flavio Pezzoli (CAR, Italy) regarded the topic from the perspective of Italmercati and the wholesale markets’ sector.
Following this notion, Eugenia Carrara (World Union of Wholesale Markets) took the stage before FEBA President Jacques Vandenschrik summarised key take-aways of the event during his concluding remarks.
The full recording of the webinar can be accessed here.