Julia Scherger und Judith Knabe von brandzeichen, einem Unternehmen des Ketchum-Netzwerkes, berichten über aktuelle Food-Trends in Deutschland.

Ein Beitrag aus unserem internationalen Foodmagazin “Inspired by Food No.2 – Ketchum’s Tasting Notes”:

shatring is caring_groß

Julia Scherger and Judith Knabe from Brandzeichen, a company of Ketchum, describe the food sharing trend in Germany.

We live in an affluent society in which the appreciation of goods is fading relentlessly. Especially when it comes to food, modern nations live in the lap of luxury. We forgot to care about what we have to eat – because we have it in abundance. Unsurprisingly, this leads to an unprecedented amount of food waste. In Germany, every second 300 kilograms of food is dumped, and worldwide this amounts to 6.7 million tonnes per year.

Food sharing instead of a throwaway mentality
Facing this startling trend, several movements are fighting for less food to end up in the rubbish bin. They aim to achieve greater awareness of the value of food and of the existing global problem. In Germany, the association foodsharing e. V. is on the rise in spotlighting the meaning and the dwindling appreciation of food. Founded in Cologne in 2012, the association gives a second chance to groceries
which are still edible and enjoyable, but which are maybe beyond their best-before date. With its voluntary and free-of-charge concept, the association has so far saved more than 1.8 million kilograms of
food from rubbish bins.

How does food sharing work?
On its internet platform foodsharing.de, surplus food from private people, retailers or food industry companies which would otherwise have ended up in the bin is offered and collected. To share their own
food with another person, community members publish the location and the content of their ‘food basket’, which can be picked up at a fixed date by another interested member. Strict guidelines prohibit hygienically risky goods such as mincemeat or raw milk products. An alternative way of sharing private food is through public distribution stations. More than 200 publicly accessible places with fridges and shelves – which are available and continually updated on maps on the website – now offer excess groceries throughout Germany. Cities such as Cologne and Berlin demonstrate the greatest amount of activity.

Teaming up with partners
To also provide industrial food which is still palatable, the association is cooperating with about 1,800 businesses and stores. More than 8,000 registered foodsavers voluntarily collect the commercial food
for private use or for sharing with friends, on foodsharing.de or with public soup kitchens, food banks and other social institutions. More than 300 ambassadors are responsible for coordinating existing and
new partnerships, foodsavers activities and other food sharing events. In addition to small organic supermarket chains and retailers, global players such as Beiersdorf also support the community. With
its ‘We care, you share’ campaign, Beiersdorf aims to promote the responsible utilisation of resources and encourage commitment to tackling food waste. To support foodsharing, companies either
donate surplus food or provide the association with fridges and storage facilities. In return, the firms are relieved in the matter of disposal costs, waste separation and accountability of the further food use for which the foodsavers sign a special legal agreement.

Spreading the idea
Having started in Germany, some foodsavers took the idea abroad: Austria, Switzerland, Scotland and the Netherlands are now also on board. While France is trying to regulate food wastage on a legal
level, Spanish activists came up with a similar concept of so-called solidarity fridges. All these food sharing advocates agree on the fact that the sharing idea is not to be confused with mere charity – everyone can give and take food. Because in the end, it is about rediscovering the value of food, about relearning to care about it and about taking action against its waste. There is still a long way to go before
a complete rethink is achieved within society. But pioneering projects such as foodsharing e. V. sound like a promising start.
For further information
(partly in German and Dutch only):