Food Losses and Waste in the context of sustainable food systems

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Slow Food network
Within the Slow Food network two national associations, namely Slow Food Deutschland and Slow Food Italia, and the Slow Food Youth Network singled out in the last years for their commitment to fight food waste. Find below a short description of their main achievements.
Slow Food Deutschland

In late 2011 Slow Food Germany activated its initiatives on the global issue of food waste and loss. Starting in September, the first action day “Teller statt Tonne” (“on the plate, not in the garbage bin”) combined a free meal with a conference on the FWL issue in a Berlin public square, attracting around a thousand people. Vegetables, fruit and bread used for the preparation of the meal were all “not suitable for the market”, either too small or too big dimensioned, expired since a few days but still edible. The goal was to raise public awareness on this topic and bring together consumers, sustainability oriented organisations and institutions to find possible solutions. In January 2012 in support of the big public demonstration on the CAP called “Wir haben’s satt!” (“We’re fed up!, around 20 000 people attending), a first “Schnippeldisko” (“chopping/dicing disco”) was organised by the Slow Food youth network in Berlin. “Non marketable” vegetables were collected from organic farmers around the city in a city farmers’ market hall on an early evening, then rinsed and chopped by volunteers in order to cook in a soup. The chopping action was combined with electronic music dj sets and attracted around 300 people, mostly - but not exclusively – young people, the majority of whom aged between 16 and 35 years old.

The format of “Teller statt Tonne” and “Schnippeldisko” were successful consumer’s advocacy models. They furthermore represented a direct support for the farmers and attracted the interest of institutional and other non governmental stakeholders. “Teller statt Tonne” gave birth to the collaboration on the national campaign “Zu gut für die Tonne” (meaning, “too good for the garbage bin”) started from the German Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer’s Protection as part of the German governments attempt to cut food waste figures in Germany according to the set EU targets. The Schnippeldisko was replicated during the summer of 2012 (‘Disco Soups’) not only in German cities but all through the international Slow Food young network in France, Greece and the Netherlands.
A specific section on the webpage of Slow Food Germany ( was created on food waste and loss and an informative leaflet with practical advice how to reduce food waste was printed. Furthermore, Slow Food Deutschland started in 2013 an educational project, in order to create food waste activities in primary and secondary schools and a companion for the Schnippeldisko was produced.
All through 2012 and 2013 numerous activities around FWL – large scale with each 1500 to 2000 people involved, as well as local ones with hundreds of people - were put in place, involving several thousands of people in all corners of the German Republic.

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