Siticibo: hard fight against food waste

Retrieve food fresh and cooked excesses in company, school and hospital canteens, in restaurants and hotels and for some years also in large-scale distribution: Siticibo it is the first application of the Law of the Good Samaritan. Born as a program of the Food Bank Foundation, from 2003 to date has recovered 2,247,600 portions of ready-made dishes, 715 tons of bread and 806 tons of fruit from the Catering Service. Giuliana Malaguti, procurement manager of the Banco Alimentare Onlus Foundation, says that even more can be done.

1) How long has Siticibo existed and what is it about?

Siticibo is a program of the Food Bank Foundation ONLUS, an organization that since 1989 has been recovering food surpluses to redistribute them to charitable structures that assist people in need in Italy. Siticibo is also the first application of Law 155/2003, known as the Good Samaritan and has as its purpose the recovery of fresh and cooked food in excess in the organized catering channel (eg company canteens, hospitals, barracks, restaurants, hotels, catering companies , retail stores, etc) and Modern Organized Distribution. It was born in 2003 in Milan and is now widespread throughout the Italian Food Bank Network.

2) What quantity of food do you process?

From 2003 to today Siticibo recovered 2,247,600 portions of cooked ready meals, 715 tons of bread and 806 tons of fruit from the Catering Service. After Milan, which gave birth to Siticibo Restauration, the cities in which it developed are Turin, Pavia, Como, Monza, Province of Varese, Bolzano, Trento, Merano, Bologna, Rome, Florence, Salerno, and we are in the studio of feasibility in Novara and other cities.

3) Are there geographically more sensitive areas to the problem?

One of the strengths of the "model" Siticibo is its high potential for replicability. It is evident, however, that in metropolises or large urban centers the quantities of recoverable surpluses are quantitatively more significant and interesting. Just as the number of people requesting food aid is greater. Therefore, there is a greater interest in the activation of Siticibo and the conditions for its sustainability and cost-effectiveness over time.

4) In 2009 it was also extended to the DMO: with what results? What changes?

Since 2009 Siticibo is also the recovery of fresh surpluses from 485 points of sale of the Modern Organized Distribution, last 2012 we recovered 2,500 tons of food that arrived on the tables of the charitable structures affiliated with the Food Bank Network. The logistics of recovery is widespread and in the name of proximity between points of sale and beneficiary structures which in many cases collect food directly for themselves. Banco Alimentare is the guarantor of the correct execution of the processes and takes care of entering into collaboration agreements with the DMO chains, forming the charitable structures and the administrative part of the sales.

5) What are the security procedures adopted for Siticibo?

S.iticibo recovers fresh and cooked surpluses according to the principles of the cold chain. Foods cooked in excess can be withdrawn only if subjected to temperature reduction, a process for which those who donate food must be equipped. Refrigerated vans or the use of isothermal containers ensure the maintenance of the cold chain throughout the supply chain. The shortness of time associated with recovery operations and the optimization of logistics routes is crucial both for the food safety of the surplus transferred, and for the cost / efficiency of overall logistics.

6) How has sensitivity to the issue of food waste changed over the years?

As poverty and especially situations of social vulnerability increase, respect for food and its recovery it becomes a transversally felt theme. Today we are called upon as a sort of "emergency response" to save food: an emergency is created with excess food, Siticibo runs to retrieve it. In recent years we have been encouraged to work also upstream of the supply chain: it is a question of educating to respect for food, suggesting virtuous alternatives of behavior, of sowing "culture of food as a gift" that encompasses man's effort.

7) What more could the institutions do to limit this waste?

Adopt policies that put one first truly sustainable development for everyone and who transform the donations of food surplus from an alternative of virtuous choice, to an acquired habit. For example, by streamlining the bureaucratic procedures that today hinder and discourage donations and, which it is not today, transform the fiscal lever into the “flywheel” capable of generating virtuous behavior for the benefit of all. The waste tax has grown significantly in recent years, a policy that encourages donations should start from serious reduction systems on tariffs and the introduction of rewarding tools to support them.

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