Barcelona, November 22, 2018. Those dishes prepared on board a ship that have not been served to guests now have a new life. Banc dels Aliments of Barcelona and Costa Cruises start a collaboration agreement whereby these dishes will be distributed, thanks to the Banc dels Aliments, between NGOs in the Barcelona area to help the people in need.
4GOODFOOD, a global outreach program to halve the food surplus onboard
The gastronomy onboard is a fundamental aspect of a cruise, in fact, Costa prepares about 54 million meals a year. In this context, the company wanted to take a fundamental step and recognize the value of food resources and develop a project to reduce food waste. With this program, Costa has wanted to completely review all the processes of its catering service and reform them in all its ships, using an integrated system based on sustainability ensuring the proactive commitment of crew and passengers.
According to the FAO, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, almost a third of the food produced worldwide ends up being lost or wasted. This could equal to the waste of 1.3 billion tons of food. As a result, 4GOODFOOD was born with the objective of reducing by 50% the food surpluses generated in Costa ships by the year 2020.
4GOODFOOD is a powerful program that considers every aspect of the preparation and consumption of food on board. As a starting point, Costa began with the review of all the internal processes for creating dishes. Priority was given to sustainability and the selection of quality local and seasonal ingredients. Next, in collaboration with Winnow, specialists in process optimization in professional kitchens, Costa has included new scales in all its kitchens and has made a register with the aim of mapping, quantifying and analyzing the waste generated during the processing and preparation of the foods. To carry it out successfully, the training of almost 2,400 kitchen employees on how to reduce waste and apply sustainable processes has been crucial.
The company has also developed an awareness campaign on board, Taste don't Waste, which directly involves guests and encourage responsible behavior, especially in the buffet area. After almost one year of its implementation on board the Costa ships the results are in line with the expectations.
Costa Cruises, recognizing the success of this program, is aware that there is still a certain part of the food prepared on board that is not served to the guests. Because of this, the company wanted to develop, as part of 4GOODFOOD, collaborations with different food banks in the ports where it operates in the Mediterranean. Therefore, after Savona, Civitavecchia, Marseille, Bari and Palermo, Costa presents, together with Banc dels Aliments, the arrival of this donation project to Barcelona, one of the most important port of the Mediterranean.
In this way, Costa selects those dishes, from their excellent gastronomy, which are ready to be consumed and have been prepared in the kitchens the night before they arrived in Barcelona. The food is placed in aluminum containers which are sealed and labeled for traceability and are kept in cold refrigerated rooms until delivery. The next morning, in the port of Barcelona, the containers are handed over to the Banc dels Aliments volunteers who distribute them to different associations, Fundació Acollida i Esperança and the Hogar Nuestra Señora de Lourdes, which, in turn, offer the collected food to people in need.
During the presentation ceremony, Stefania Lallai, Costa Cruceros’ Director of Sustainability and External Relations explained: "At Costa, we understand that it is essential to recognize the indispensable value of food and today we can take a new step in the fight against food waste. In this sense, and in accordance with the objectives set out in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, we intend to halve the surplus food generated aboard our ships by 2020, ten years before the United Nations’ established date. We are very grateful to the Banc dels Aliments de Barcelona for making it possible in Barcelona, the most important port in the Mediterranean, and we are confident that the collaboration will be a success."
Additionally, Roser Brutau, president of Banc dels Aliments de Barcelona, explained: "We are very grateful to Costa Cruises for having made this project a reality. This initiative marks a new impulse in the work that we have been carrying out for more than 30 years. A work that we carry out in a solidary and sustainable manner and that allows us to distribute food surpluses among multiple entities in the Barcelona region."
Angela Frigo, Secretary General of The European Food Banks Federation, stated "The European Food Banks Federation is extremely grateful to Costa Crociere for this initiative which is now enlarging to several countries of our Europe. The donated food will not fill only empty stomachs but will contribute to the restoration of human dignity and hope. We have witnessed the extraordinary potential of food donation from cruises for a better social inclusion, a better nutrition, and a better human development. Let us pursue this action and experiment every day the joy of giving and the power of receiving."
Lucía Parreño del Moral, technical director of Fundació Acollida i Esperança, said: "Our foundation, based in Badalona, is a non-profit organization and we seek to serve people who suffer social exclusion. This initiative is a great opportunity for us and a great example of a collaborative economy that allows us to offer quality food and benefit many families in the region."