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Sprouting Food-Saving Zeitgeist in Taiwan

By Perry Wu, Staff Reporter

“Food Waste” has become one of international concerned environmental hurdles in recent years. Taiwan, has a severe food waste challenge, too. According to Taiwan’s United Daily News, the then daily kitchen waste production in 2011 reached to 3 million ton based on an estimate from APEC Information Platform on Post Harvest Loss and Waste System (APIP-PHLOWS). To pile up these food wastes, the height is approximately 60 times of Taipei101 Tower.

Stefan Simon, a foodsaver from Germany, spotted the on-going food waste issue when he started his Mandarin course in Taiwan. In April 2016, he decided to set up Foodsharing Taiwan, a franchise of Germany-based Foodsharing.   

Foodsharing originates from Germany and it aims to save unwanted and overproduced foods. It is a grassroot organization without funding supports from corporations and governments. This international food-saving zeitgeist started from Berlin, Germany in 2012. Currently, it has over 0.2 million members in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and many countries.

Germany-originated Foodsharing project is one of the most critical food-saving activists. Photo source: Foodsharing

Foodsharing shares with whom?

Foodsharing utilizes web-based platforms to facilitate readily available information exchanges between foodsharers and foodsavers. Foodsharers, i.e., the vendors, give notice of over-stuck foods and then foodsavers, i.e., Foodie Buddies, go pick up the foods. No food is left behind is the goal of these foodsavers.

Foodsharers are obligated to share unable-to-sell and almost-expired foods to Foodsavers. Photo source: Foodsharing Taiwan

Local vendors cast doubles on Foodsharing project when they first learnt the concept. Common questions include “Will I be sued, if a foodsaver get an upset stomach?”, “Will they resell my products?”, etc. These concerns matter to Foodsharing Taiwan and a critical mechanism was developed by this organization.  

True Foodie Buddies have to pass feasibility assessment and then sign up disclaimer & participant agreement with Foodsharing Taiwan. They understand and willing to take full responsibility and guarantee no reselling. With these assurances, food vendors can trust the foodsavers, share unwanted and overproduced foods with them. Successfully stopped the foods becoming kitchen wastes.

Concept of Foodsharing’s operation. Photo source: 享食台灣 Foodsharing Taiwan

More than 1-ton-in-weight Food Wastes were Saved to Date

Over the past two years since Foodsharing Taiwan was set up, several local bakeries teamed up with the first cohort of Foodie Buddies. The outcomes were fruitful - more than 1-ton-in-weight food wastes were saved per year, i.e., 3 kilogram per day, base on its records. On February 3rd, 2018, an influx of volunteers joined Foodsharing Taiwan’s Foodie Buddies audition in Grean Peace’s Taipei Office. The new workforce starts to save foods from March.

Foodie Buddies audition in Taipei, Taiwan. Photo source: 享食台灣 Foodsharing Taiwan

More Positive Responses from Vendors is Crucial   

During the audition, Emma of Foodsharing Taiwan asserts, “Sharing unwanted and overproduced foods with others is new in Taiwan. Many vendors necessarily hesitate and worry about this concept. We look forward to having more positive responses from vendors. I believe Foodie Buddies can be partners to the vendors. Vendors will no longer troubled by dealing with kitchen wastes, plus follow food-saving zeitgeist can definitely provide a positive image.”

If you are willing to become a foodsharer, please contact Foodsharing Taiwan. They can be reached at:
● 「享食台灣Foodsharing Taiwan」website http://foodsharing.tw/
● Email foodsharing.taiwan@gmail.com (link sends e-mail)
● 享食台灣 Foodsharing Taiwan臉書粉專

The original article can be found here.

Collaborative with Green News Taiwan




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