The Fourth Food Waste Hub is now open inside the fruit and vegetable market of Milan

The “Valore” project has been launched in order to enhance the redistribution of fresh food surplus: approximately 10 millions of portions of fruits and vegetables per year

Milan, 15 December 2021 – Today at the Sogemi Business Center “Valore: VAlorizzare le LOgiche del REcupero”, (“Value: VAlue the LOgic of REcovery) was presented. This project, started in September, was selected with the “Foody Zero Sprechi” (zero-waste) contest, launched last January by Cariplo Foundation, in collaboration with the Municipality of Milan and SogeMI, in order to implement the Food Policy of the city.

With this initiative, the number of city hubs gets bigger: the one that opens today in Municipio 4 at Foody – the General agri-food market of Milan follows the openings in the Isola (Municipio 9), Lambrate (Municipio 3) and Gallaratese (Municipio 8) districts and represents the evolution of the Fruit and Vegetable Hub, developed during the 2020 lockdown, thanks to which 138 tons of fresh products had been distributed in 8 weeks of activity.

The selected project includes Università degli Studi di Milano as the leader, and three entities of the third sector for the collection and redistribution of food surplus of the General agri-food market: Recup, Banco Alimentare della Lombardia, thus contributing in improving its current activity, through the extensive network of Croce Rossa Italiana – Committee of the South Area of Milan.

The main purpose of the “Valore” project is creating a virtuous circle that prevents the destruction of the products that might be reused through the collection, selection and redistribution of the food surplus that come from business owners, wholesalers and producers, in order to reallocate them to the families that struggle the most, thanks to a thorough territorial network.


“The commitment of the Municipality for reducing the food waste carries on and gets more solid through a series of collaborations – states Anna Scavuzzo, the deputy mayor of Milan and delegate of Food Policy-. Alongside Cariplo Foundation and SogeMI, we have written a new chapter in the recovery of food surplus in one of the most important places of the food distribution in Milan: the General agri-food market. It will be profitable to involve new subjects who are an active part of the food system, sensitive to the importance of reducing waste and willing to encourage the recovery of surpluses for social purposes “

Thus, active actions in the city against food waste are implemented, aiming at the growing involvement of different subjects already committed to the issue, to amplify the positive impacts generated by an increasingly sustainable and inclusive food policy.

“The recovery of food surplus activity was possible thanks to the interaction and collaboration of the many parties involved, both public and private – says Claudia Sorlini, Vice President of Cariplo Foundation. It is a virtuous action that makes it possible to reduce the waste and the consequent environmental impact, while also helping the people who need it the most. Such activity deserves to be enhanced through the involvement of other players, in order to reach a wider target. For this purpose, Cariplo Foundation integrates the Milan Food Policy actions with other initiatives like “Programma QuBi la ricetta contro la povertà minorile” (QuBi Programm: the recipe against child poverty), at the same time tackling inequalities.”

“In 2019 we collected about 1.500 tons of fresh food at the General fruit and vegetable market of Milan, thanks to the efforts and collaboration of producers and wholesalers and to the participation of the third sector who carried out the collection. Sogemi has always been committed to promoting initiatives and food-solidarity actions. Therefore, we are proud to continue our partnership with Food Policy of Milan for such an important project both in terms of sustainability and food recovering” – claims Cesare Ferrero, President of Sogemi.

The contribution for the implementation of the activities will aim at strengthening the management and the capacity building of the parties involved. It will also be dedicated to the installation of a check-point for monitoring the recovered food surplus in terms of both quantity and quality, as well as for setting some action protocols and best practice manuals.

The focus of the analysis will be the qualitative and safety aspects of fruits and vegetables that can really be redistributed, the packaging systems and the managing of the redistribution for social purposes.

The impact will be monitored by Università degli Studi di Milano, who is responsible for valuing the opportunities for the development of the project.

“Having Università degli Studi di Milano as a partner will allow us to develop and implement a series of good practices that can guarantee the qualitative control of food surplus, as well as a better logistic, with the aim of reaching the highest number of people, and with better nutritional guarantees and a lower environmental impact” highlights Sara Limbo, Researcher of the DEFENS Department at Università degli Studi di Milano.

“This project represents a tangible and relevant opportunity for widening the mix of products donated to charities, thus helping people who struggle the most in having a balanced diet” – states Dario Boggio Marzet, President of Banco Alimentare Lombardia. “We particularly value the dual concept of quality of food and dignity of people. For this reason we truly believe in this project and in the importance of a synergy between the partners involved”.

“The “Valore” project – says Alberto Piccardo, President of RECUP APS – confirms the strengthening of a spontaneous action carried out during the most complex moment of the pandemic. Carrying on working at the fruit and vegetable market in synergy with experienced partners is going to enhance our impact. At the same time it will involve an increasing number of people in the fight against food waste, in terms of active citizenship and respect of the sensitivity of the people who work within the General agri-food market of Milan”

“With our extensive redistribution network – confirms Danilo Esposito, President of Croce Rossa Italiana – Committee of the South Area of Milan – we are capable of reaching a wider target, also through the circuit of the Assistance Mobil Unit dedicated to the homeless of Milan.”


Photo gallery photo credits: Alice Mantovani, Comune di Milano