Tafel Deutschland’s Participation in the 4th Food Banking Summit in Istanbul

On the 7th of February 2024, Tafel Deutschland was invited to participate in the 4th Food Banking Summit organized by Temel İhtiyaç Derneği (TİDER), in Istanbul, Turkey. Translating to “Association for Basic Needs,” TİDER serves as the umbrella organization for food banks in Turkey and is a member of the Global FoodBanking Network (GFN). GFN works closely with the European Food Bank Federation (FEBA), where Tafel Deutschland is an active member.


In response to the devastating earthquakes in Southeast Turkey and Northern Syria in February 2023, where almost 60,000 lives were lost, and over 125,000 people were injured, Tafel Deutschland’s board decided to make a substantial material contribution to TİDER to strengthen their disaster relief efforts. Participation in events such as the Food Banking Summit provides an opportunity to showcase the results of Tafel’s work in Germany and simultaneously contribute to international cooperation. It reflects Tafel Deutschland’s commitment not only to national needs but also to actively supports the global food banking community.


The 4th Food Banking Summit at Beykoz University in Istanbul served as a platform for international exchange and collaboration in the field of food rescue, with a particular focus on programs and initiatives in Turkey, including those in the areas affected by the earthquake. The summit covered various topics, including the role of food banks in disaster management, global developments in food banking, waste reduction in agriculture, and scientific perspectives on losses and waste in the food value chain.

The international affairs officer for Tafel Deutschland, Ryan Harty, participated in the panel on the “Development of Food Banking in the World,” underscoring its strong interest in the international development of food banking. Ryan’s contribution focused on opportunities and challenges in sectors such as agriculture and out-of-home catering, with a scope of solutions ranging from Austrian to-go boxes, to collaboration with food savers in the Czech Republic to the global impact of European agriculture subsidies. Participating alongside food banks from South Africa and Thailand, this forum provided a platform to share best practices, discuss innovative and policy solutions.


Such discussions are valuable. The food banks can share and also deepen their expertise, highlight opportunities and challenges, actively contributing to the critical advancement of the global food banking community. Alongside various topics, the discussion also covered food rescue and distribution in times of crises, conflicts, or disasters, which are becoming increasingly relevant across borders. Participation in such events further strengthens collaboration through GFN. Involving the network in summit discussions and activities promotes international exchange and helps increase the capacities of food banks worldwide. Global efforts can lead to more efficient mechanisms for food distribution and intensified collaboration between different food banking organizations. Beyond all of this, the key points of such discussions also provide both food and monetary donors with an opportunity to refine their donation strategies and strengthen their social responsibility on an international level. Engaging with other food banks and stakeholders allows them to improve impact strategies and contribute to sustainable solutions.


The following day included a visit to the social market “Beyoğlu Sosyal Yardım İşleri Müdürlüğü,” which receives significant food from TİDER. This center supports 250 people living in poverty daily with food and other daily necessities. Its innovative approach, where customers receive points based on need and can spend them in a supermarket-like environment with their membership card, demonstrates the effectiveness of a socially conscious market. The facility also has the capability to portion bulk products or repackage damaged items, with refrigeration and freezing capacities. The inclusion of clothing, both new and used, including festive attire for weddings or circumcision ceremonies, adds a holistic dimension beyond mere food support.


The visit underscores the importance of international forums like the Food Banking Summit in exchanging ideas, enhancing the effectiveness of food distribution, and promoting innovative approaches to address global challenges. Tafel Deutschland not only contributes to its own development through such events but also strengthens international collaboration in the fight against food insecurity and social inequality.