Fruits and vegetables for human development: do not waste!

Macfrut 2021, the international exhibition dedicated to the fruit and vegetable sector, was held in Rimini from 7 to 9 September. After more than a year and a half of virtual meetings and exchanges, the event was attended by 32,600 participants.

Three days during which exhibitors and industry experts addressed the key issues of the coming years, including the importance of fruit and vegetables for human development and the recovery of surplus food to reduce food waste. Italmercati and the European Food Banks Federation (FEBA) organized a debate with a twofold objective. On the one hand, to consolidate the cooperation between operators, wholesale market managers and civil society organisations as regards the recovery of surplus food for social purposes and, on the other hand, to explore the importance of fruit and vegetables for nutrition and healthy human development.

These are topics that are very close to our hearts, especially during this International Year of Fruit and Vegetables as proclaimed by the UN General Assembly.

On this occasion FEBA was represented by Marco Lucchini, FEBA Board member and Secretary General of Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus: “400 grams of fruit and vegetables a day keep the doctor away. This is the recommendation by WHO in just one sentence. However, this is still a mirage for many Europeans, often children. At the same time 50 million tonnes of surplus fruit and vegetables are generated annually (University of Edinburgh, 2018). Today at Macfrut 2021, Italmercati and the European Food Banks Federation want to say that it is possible to change tack: reducing food losses and managing surplus fruit and vegetables for social purposes.”

It is possible to recover more fruits and vegetables: in 2020 FEBA members in Belgium, Czech Republic France, Italy, Portugal, and Spain recovered more than 50,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables that were redistributed to 25,686 charities. assisting 6 million people in need.

On the last day of the fair, 31 exhibitors donated 2.5 tonnes of fruit and vegetables to Banco Alimentare. These fruit and vegetables were saved from becoming waste and immediately redistributed to 18 charitable organisations in Rimini and Pesaro, helping around 2,253 mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, and grandmothers.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.