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Food Redistribution in the Nordic Region

Experiences and results from a pilot study

image of Food Redistribution in the Nordic Region

This report has a focus on waste prevention through redistribution of food to low-income people via charity organisations. Food redistribution can go via national food banks and via direct redistribution, often on a local level. Food banks in the Nordic region redistributed about 1.5 mill meals in 2013, and local charity organisations probably 2–3 times more. The regulatory framework for food redistribution is described and discussed in the report. The demand of and potential for redistribution is probably much higher than at present, and the report points out strategies and measures for how food banks can contribute to secure a further development.

The report is part of the Nordic Prime Ministers’ overall green growth initiative: “The Nordic Region – leading in green growth” – read more in the web magazine “Green Growth the Nordic Way.”

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Status of knowledge – food redistribution

There are a lot of information available on redistribution of food and food banks both in Europe and globally, being available from the networks of European and Global food banks (see www.foodbanking.org). Food banks have been established all over the world for a long time period, and there are food banks represented in most parts of the world. The first Food Bank in Europe was established in France in 1984, based in an initiative from five charity organisations (Secours Catholique, Emmau s, Arme e du Salut, Entraide d'Auteuil and Entraide Protestante). According to the Federation of European Food Banks (FEDB) there are food banks in 21 countries in Europe and a total number of 256 food bank organisations involved in redistribution (FEDB 2014). In the Nordic region, only the Danish fødevareBanken is registered as a full member, whereas the Norwegian Matsentralen is registered as a project. In Sweden and Finland, there are no registered members or project in the FEDB network.

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