Food is not waste, together to the goal

On 5 October 2021, FEBA Secretary General Angela Frigo, participated as a speaker in the professional conference “Food is not waste, together to the goal” in Zagreb, Croatia. The conference was organised by the Croatian Ministry of Agriculture and together with FEBA Secretary General, also Marco Lucchini, Secretary General a representative from Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus, FEBA Italian Member was invited.

The conference started with a panel on Food Waste Prevention Policies where speakers from the Croatian Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development, and a representative from the City Council of Zagreb discussed about the existing regulations both at national level in Croatia and at EU level to prevent food waste and foster food donation.

Furthermore, the second panel of the conference focused more on food donation and FEBA Secretary General had the possibility to tell the story of European Food Banks Federation, retracing the 35 years of history and explaining the core mission of FEBA and its members, the values and the key role of Food Banks for the prevention and redistribution of safe and nutritious food to charitable organisations helping people in need. It was remarked the peculiarity of the FEBA network, where the diversity is a factor of unity because the model and functioning of the different Food Banks in the FEBA network can vary depending on the different local and national situations. Nonetheless, key pillars for the foundation of a national Food Bank should be followed and the intervention of Marco Lucchini from Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus stressed this aspect telling the story of 32 years of history of the Italian Network of Food Banks, explaining step by step the journey to fulfil the mission of recovering and redistributing good and edible surplus food to charitable organisations helping the most deprived in Italy.

Moreover, both Secretary General of FEBA and Banco Alimentare were involved in a round table discussion together with representatives from the Croatian Red Cross, Croatian Caritas, Croatian Association of Social Self-Service, the Ministry of Agriculture and representatives from the Academia on the establishment of a Food Bank in Croatia. FEBA Secretary General were asked to explain the speakers and the audience the conditions one organisation needs to fulfil to be considered a ‘Food Bank’ and the different food banking models at European and global level. Moreover, the discussion focused on which directions the Food Banks are evolving nowadays especially at European level and future projections. At the same time, the discussion intertwined with the experience of a FEBA member (Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus) who better explained the establishment of the Food Bank in Italy with the most useful lessons learned and challenges, from an organisational to a financial point of view.

During the conference, representatives from the food industry, HORECA sector, and academia had also the possibility to intervene, in order to create linkages and exchange best practices and experience from the different sectors and from the different actors involved, willing to support the establishment of a Food Bank in Croatia.

FEBA was honoured to be invited to participate, having the possibility to tell the story of a journey that started 35 years ago bringing together today more than 300 Food Banks across Europe daily working as key players in the food supply chain saving edible and good surplus food from becoming waste to support charities helping the most deprived.