On the occasion of Tasting India: Farm to Table Symposium at Roseate House, New Delhi (13th December 2017), the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India(FSSAI) introduced an initiative ‘Save Food, Share Food, Share Joy’ web: www.ifra.org.in promoting food sharing among citizens and food businesses of the country. Also targeting coalition of food collection partners in country to fight issue of hunger and also prevent food loss and food waste in India.
Under this initiative, a platform called Indian Food Sharing Alliance (IFSA) creates a network of the food collection agencies and brings together citizens, food businesses, corporates, civil society organizations, volunteers and government and local bodies in a coordinated manner to prevent food being lost or wasted throughout the supply chain, from initial production down to final household consumption.
FSSAI also unveiled the two key campaigns i.e. (1) Street food vendor has a heart and (2) I too have a heart. ‘Street food vendors have a heart’ is about engaging with street food vendors to encourage them to donate every 10th meal for the needy, which will in turn act as a kick off for ‘I too have a heart campaign’, which focusses around regular food donation by food businesses and the citizens. These campaigns will be managed through IFSA web based platform.
In India, there are multiple food collection agencies working in various cities on their own. No Food Waste, Feeding India, Indian Food Banking Network,National Association of Street Vendors of India, Roti Bank, Annakshetra, Giveaway India, Mera Parivaar, Robin Hood Army are few such names. Together, 12 such organisations feed on an average over a lakh people per day in more than 70 cities. Alliance of these food sharing models and implementation of a uniform operation plan will ensure pan India coverage.
During the programme, partner food collection agencies showcased their respective case studies. Also, during a group discussion on ‘Turning Food Sharing into a National movement’ Pawan Agarwal, CEO- FSSAI highlighted that food waste and food loss is recognized as a global challenge. Also there is a significant food loss and food waste in India. He addressed the need of an integrated approach of food recovery networks across India to combat food waste issues. He mentioned that “this initiative is an effort to promote food sharing and recover surplus food in India. Through this initiative several food collection agencies will be able to work uniformly towards one common goal of saving food and distributing it to the needy so that India is able to eradicate hunger problems.”
This web based platform will identify the street food vendors and do the mapping of recovery agencies. It will also include volunteer registration and identify hunger spots to cater to larger mass of beneficiaries. The campaign will be launched in Delhi during National Street Food Festival being held in January 2018.
IFSA portal will allow donors to track all the data, information and the status of the food being donated through their personal logins. Also, volunteers from across cities will be able to register on this platform to be a part of this initiative. This platform will also provide guidance to citizens, food businesses and various food recovery agencies on prevention of food loss and food waste and safe recovery of surplus food.
Through creating a network of networks from entities across sectors in India and leveraging the power of technology, FSSAI’s aim is to create an ease of communication among all the stakeholders so that everybody can take a step closer towards reducing food wastage in a uniform direction.