After the unique success story of foodsharing.de in Germany, Austria and Switzerland it’s time to spread the concept of food saving around the world!
Over 25,000 foodsavers have rescued more than 8 million kilograms of food that would otherwise have been thrown away.
After 800,000 hours of volunteering and three years of experience, we will finally go open-source and international and need your support.
Foodsharing.de is a non-profit organisation that has been fighting food waste since 2012. It raises awareness of the massive food waste on all levels ranging from producers to consumers. Through media reports, presentations, political and non-political campaigns as well as its practical approach to rescuing and sharing food, foodsharing.de demonstrates how easy it is to tackle the issue of food waste. The theoretical approach focuses on raising awareness of food waste and the responsibility each of us bears for the loss of nearly half of the world’s food production. Besides that, an online platform has been established that allows its members to rescue food from being thrown away by stores and lets users share their leftovers in so-called “food baskets”; people who leave for vacation, who have cooked too much or bought the wrong items can offer their food online to the 110,000 users.
Furthermore, foodsharing invented the concept of the so-called 'Fair-Teiler' – an unconditional, public distribution point – with shelves and often a fridge in order to enable people without internet access to participate in sharing food. Right now, there are about 350 official foodsharing Fair-Teiler which are cleaned and filled up with food by volunteers on a regular basis. The strongest support against food waste are the more than 25,000 volunteers – or so-called Foodsavers – who have collected food from stores on over 550,000 occasions within the past 4 years. More than 8 million kilograms of food from around 3,300 groceries, restaurants, bakeries and many more have already been saved from being thrown away.
Foodsharing enables people of all ages, working areas and social backgrounds to come together and unite against food waste. Their goal is to empower people to be the change they want to see in the world by letting them participate in rescuing and sharing food.
An organizing team of 120 people arranged in different working groups takes care of communication, public relations, foodsharing.de wiki, IT programming and support, development of the platform, international events, social media, sponsoring, problem solving and more. 300 foodsharing ambassadors in over 200 cities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland manage regular meetings, foodsharing events, awareness campaigns, the recruitment of new stores and ensure effective collaboration. Besides more than 800 store coordinators, there are two dozen people who are key account managers for supermarket chains.
The enormous manpower (in total more than 800,000 hours) behind the non-profit project is (with the exception of the executive secretary) based on 100% volunteer work. In addition foodsharing has been able to gain the support of server and printer companies, attorneys, food inspectors, venues and other necessary services free of charge. The commitment of time, skill, knowledge and work driven by free will and intrinsic motivation to make foodsharing possible creates an unique spirit among people, companies and organizations.
The goal is to create awareness and eradicate food waste not only at the end of the food chain in private households, grocery stores and other food selling businesses, but to begin right at production level: At this level 10-50% of all food produced is not even commercialized because it does not fit norms and supposed customers' desire for standardized food. Hence foodsharing.de focuses on options that allow consumers to reduce food waste and rescue unsold food. Foodsharing encourages store owners to order more food diverging from the norm in order to use everything that nature provides. The long term goal of foodsharing.de is to render itself useless, because there will be no more food wasted and employees and customers take what is left in the stores. Farmers do not leave any fruit or vegetable behind. Consumers are willing to consume unconventional food as they grow more aware of and responsible for their food consumption and impact on the world. In the long run, we do not aim just for lower food production but also for more sustainable use of resources, such as agricultural land and water, and reduction of carbon emissions.
Pictures by Martina Kohnova