“Hunger and food waste cannot coexist”

André Borges, head of sustainability at iFood, hopes that Todos à Mesa will gain more visibility after winning the ECO Award from Amcham and Época Negócios

The debate on the worsening food insecurity in Brazil contemplates a contradiction: how can one of the largest producers and exporters of food have 33 million people (or 15.5% of the population) going hungry? In this scenario, fighting the waste Donating food suitable for consumption is one of the actions that can help turn the tide.

This is the objective of Everyone at the Table, the first Brazilian coalition of companies and organizations to reduce the impacts of hunger in Brazil. Created in October 2021, it works to reduce food waste by strengthening redistribution networks and increasing awareness on the topic, in addition to stimulating a regulatory environment favorable to food donation. 

In less than a year, the movement has already donated more than 4,000 tons of food for organizations and food banks in 19 states. In July 2022, the initiative was recognized with the ECO Brasil 2022 award in the Sustainability Practices category in the Processes for Large Companies category.

“Hunger and food waste cannot coexist”, says André Borges, head of iFood, which is part of the coalition. “This recognition shows that we are on the right path and that there is an understanding in society that hunger and food insecurity These are serious problems. More than 30 million Brazilians go hungry and, on the other side of the scale, a third of food is wasted in the production chain.”

The award, Borges believes, could be an important attraction for more companies in the food sector, especially the industry and the retail chain, to also join the movement. Today, Todos à Mesa has ten members (iFood, Bauducco, Camil, Carrefour, Danone, DPA, Lopes Supermercados, M. Dias Branco, Nestlé and Connecting Food). “By September 2022, we hope to have at least 25 large companies within the Movement. With more participants, we have a greater volume of food being donated today, and we gain more strength to accelerate the collective impact of the movement”, he states.

To join Todos à Mesa, simply get in touch using the form on the movement's website (www.todosamesabrasil.com.br). There you can find out what can be donated, who can donate and who can receive the food that will no longer go to waste. 

The entire process is carried out by the companies themselves, including the separation of what will be transferred and the logistics. The group members count on the support of Connecting Food to find the accredited institution to receive the donations.

“The movement has the characteristic of working on pillars to change the legal environment for food donations and the reduction of food waste in the country — and these are measures generally in the medium and long term — but at the same time it provides today, in the now, that these foods reach people in situations of very high social vulnerability”, says Alcione Pereira, CEO of Connecting Food. “Food redistribution is a global strategy for combat to hunger, especially this immediate hunger.”

Other initiatives to combat food insecurity

In addition to being part of Todos à Mesa, iFood has other fronts to combat hunger and food waste, such as school garden, present in five schools in Greater S.Paulo, the vegetable garden at its headquarters, which donates its production to the Osasco (SP) food bank, and cash donations carried out through the iFood app for five NGOs that work with the aim of bringing food to those who do not have access.

In the last two years, the company raised and transferred more than R$ 25 million in donations for institutions such as Gerando Falcões, Ação da Cidadania, CUFA, Gastromotiva and Orgânicos Solidários. “The hunger scenario is horrific and iFood has a lot of capacity to contribute to change. No platform has a capillarity of restaurants and markets like ours”, concludes Borges. 

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