Events are a hospitality moment in which food is usually very good and very abundant (no way guests are going to leave hungry!). But with it comes the high excess quantities served, and therefore the waste. Until now, not much could be done. We published in eventos magazine the recent new possibilities in Spain (in Barcelona, and coming very soon to Madrid). Interestingly in Italy it is the main event industry association which dealt with this sensitive topic and teamed up with two NGOs, and enables meeting planners to give their excess food to Banco Alimentare or Equoevento.
The premise of the project is that saving and retrieving food generates several benefits for the community: a social one, clearly, an economic one too (reuses of resources, and saving the costs of waste disposal), an environmental one and finally an education benefit about the value of food.
How does it work? The recovery of the surplus must take place in a safe "chain", in which the various parties involved have duties and responsibilities clearly defined by a shared operating procedure taking into account the Italian law.
Food recycling requires that the chain of heat and cold doesn´t get interrupted. Who wants to donate must contact Federcongressi&eventi indicating the place and the date of the event, the contacts of the catering service and the number of participants, and inform both staff and caterers.
Volunteers of a charity will show up at the venue equipped with vans suitable for food transporting, collect the surplus food inserted in special containers, and deliver the meals immediately to food services and other charities.
The test. Three venues (Cotone Congressi of Genoa, Palacongressi of Rimini, and the Milan-based PCO agency MZ Congressi) undertook some tests within 15 events, attended by a total of 17,235 participants. The results? Some 1,393 ready-to-eat courses could be obtained. If you extract this test on a national level, you get to the result that our industry could provide an impressive number of 8,051,708 courses every year. Definitely worth getting our industry moving!