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Rescuing fruits and vegetables from fairs: a fruitful session in Madrid

On 5 October 2021, FEBA organised a skill-sharing session between Banco de Alimentos de Madrid (BA Madrid, Spain), as part of Federación Española de Bancos de Alimentos (FESBAL, Spain), and Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus (FBAO, Italy) in Madrid. On the occasion of the international fruit and vegetable fair Fruit Attraction taking place from 5 to 7 October at IFEMA, the objective of the skill-sharing session was to exchange knowledge and experience as regards best practices to recover fresh food from fairs. Members of BA Madrid and FBAO shared insights about the planning and execution of the activities conducted in the aftermath of previous fairs, e.g. Fruit Attraction in October 2019 and Macfruit in September 2021. Moreover, challenges faced in the past and opportunities to overcome them were discussed.

In addition to this fruitful session, all participants had the chance to visit the warehouse of BA Madrid where non-perishable food (e.g. canned tomatoes, oil, powdered infant milk, and rice) as well as fresh food such as fruits and vegetables are stored. Products received are checked for their expiration date and possible flaws, such as damaged packaging, before being sorted into high shelves. Charitable organisations pick them up on a regular basis and redistribute them to the end beneficiaries.

Moreover, after the official closure of the Fruit Attraction fair on 7 October, around 20 volunteers from BA Madrid and 82 volunteers from 8 charitable organisations came together to rescue an estimated 28,950 kg of produce, which the latter transported to their respective redistribution centres. Thereby, flawless, nutritious food could be saved from going to waste and instead supported 4,853 people in need.

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