Every day is World Food Day thanks to Costa Cruises’ “4GOODFOOD” program

Every year on October 16, the world celebrates World Food Day. Costa Cruises is commited to recognizing the value of food with its “4GOODFOOD” program. Thanks to “4GOODFOOD” Costa has achieved a reduction of over 35% in food wastage on board its ships, enabling both the creation of 100 food gardens in Africa and the donation of more than 150,000 portions of food.

Through “4GOODFOOD”, a program laying down a marker for the global shipping industry, the Italian cruise company set itself the objective of halving food waste fleetwide by 2020, some ten years ahead of the deadline prescribed by the UN’s 2030 Agenda target 12.3.

Today, approximately 18 months after fleetwide implementation of the project, 4GOODFOOD has already brought about a reduction of over 35% in food wastage on Costa’s ships. The program has also enabled support for the “Food Gardens in Africa” project promoted by the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, with the adoption of some 100 gardens in Kenya, Mozambique, Madagascar, South Africa and Tanzania, and led to the donation – in partnership with food bank charity Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus  – of 150,000 portions of food retrieved from the ships and distributed to 12 different charitable associations.

4GOODFOOD is a far-reaching integrated project, starting with a review of the process of preparation of dishes and actively engaging guests and crew members. An integral part of the program is the shipboard communication campaign “Taste don’t Waste”. The aim of this call to action is to encourage responsible consumption in the ships’ buffets. The campaign addresses values and emotions and is based on sensitization not imposition, and takes account of the rich multicultural mix of Costa’s clientele and the fact that they are holidaymakers.

Thanks to its partnership with Winnow, Costa placed kitchen scales in the galleys and kept a centralized record enabling the real-time mapping, quantification and analysis of wastage at food processing and preparation level.

Directly linked to the “Taste don’t Waste” consciousness-raising campaign is the idea of returning resources to the community.  In fact, the reduced negative impacts generated by the responsible behavior and actions of guests on board can be calculated by Winnow and translated into a tangible, measurable result:  Costa decided to donate the equivalent of the consequent cost savings in order to support the Food Gardens in Africa project.  As a result of Costa’s financial backing, so far 100 gardens have been adopted; 85 have already been established while the other 15 are set for completion by the beginning of 2020.

In a complex setting like a cruise ship, some surplus food is inevitable insofar as it is structurally impossible to attain the objective of zero wastage.  Accordingly, Costa devised a solution to prevent this surplus – i.e. meals prepared but not consumed on board – from turning into waste, thanks to its alliance with Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus.  Now, not only is this leftover food regularly offloaded in a number of ports around Italy (Savona, Civitavecchia, Bari, Palermo, Genoa and Naples), but the initiative has also been exported as an example of Italian best practice and is operating in Marseille (France) and Barcelona (Spain) as well as – since December 2018 – in Guadeloupe and Martinique.

To date, over 150,000 portions of quality food have been distributed to a total of 12 associations that look after people in need. Costa Cruises’ aim is to involve other ports as well and further extend the surplus food donation scheme so as to reach as many disadvantaged communities as possible.

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