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FOOD WASTAGE / Europe is doing well, but beware of moralism

Marco Lucchini, the General Manager of the Italian Food Bank, talks about how they are combating food wastage and how the poor will be further helped by a new resolution by the EU.

(Infophoto) (Infophoto)

The reality of numbers is merciless. Every year up to 50% of edible food is wasted in Europe. Food is wasted by consumers in their houses, supermarkets, restaurants and along the entire so-called food supply chain, while 79 million people are still living below the poverty line in the European Union and, of these, 16 million have received food aid from charitable institutions. This is a well known reality that an institution like the Italian Food Bank Foundation (Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus) has tackled for the last twenty years.

The resolution by Salvatore Caronna (S&D MEP) reminds us of this incredible reality and urges us to designate 2013 the European Year against Food Waste. It is reassuring that the European Parliament adopted this resolution by a large majority, overcoming any political or ideological divisions on the problem. A proof is the unconditional support given by Mario Mauro, the President of the Italian PDL Delegation at the European Parliament. Due to all the necessary steps (European Parliament, Commission and Council) the initiative is probably not going to be adopted in 2013 but in 2014. However, this delay does not diminish the value of the resolution. Marco Lucchini, the General Manager of the Italian Food Bank Foundation, also comments on the resolution favourably to ilsussidiario.net.

Mr. Lucchini, what do you think about the resolution?
I think that this resolution represents the acknowledgement of what has been done until now by institutions and individuals. At the beginning, when we founded the Food Bank and then organized the National Food Collection Day, we were considered "dreamers" or "idealists". This is the most positive fact. When we spoke about the wastage and recovery of food, we were not outside of reality.

This acknowledgement has a meaning: the fight against wastage and the recovery of food.
For sure. It is important to say that this problem should not have a moralistic dimension. We can debate about lifestyles, but the problem would become wider. I believe that this resolution does not want to arouse a muckraking campaign. First of all, the report says that food is a good and it cannot be determined by the supply and demand of the market. Even if food does not come and does not remain in the market, it is a good that has to be respected and used for helping those who does not have it. Then, we should always make positive proposals and act in order to recover and help. Muckraking and moralism are not useful in circumstances like these.