“Donating Food in Crisis Situations“ Workshop

A two-day workshop “Donating Food in Crisis Situations”, as part of the project “Capacity Building for the European Green Deal, according to the Measures of the Local Community” was held at the City Library of Vukovar on June 8 and 9, 2022. The lead partner of the fifteen-month project, which started on February 16, 2022, is the Food Waste Prevention Centre – FWAPC (CEPOH), and the partners are Consumer – Society for the Protection of Consumers in Croatia, Centre for Consumer Education and Information, and Croatia Red Cross – City Red Cross Society Osijek. Associate project partners are experts from the Croatian Agency for Agriculture and Food (HAPIH).


In addition to the above-mentioned, representatives from Vukovar Duga Charity Association that have been part of the donation system as mediators since 2013, also participated in the workshop.


Workshop objectives:

1. To improve the understanding of the donation system in the context of reducing food waste to 2030.

2. To improve the understanding of the aspect of food safety and food donation, the risks related to food, and presenting the food donation guidelines concerning expiration dates.

3. To adopt the guidelines, define the contents and concept of the “Donating Food in Crisis Situations” manual, which will be created within the project.


The introductory presentation “Food Waste Problems in the Republic of Croatia and the Food Donation System in Crisis Situations – current situation and problems” was held by the project manager and president of the Food Waste Prevention Centre – CEPOH, Branka Ilakovac, Ph.D.
She emphasized the significance of food waste reduction according to global strategic guidelines and national goals. The current food donation system was analyzed as well as good and bad examples of food donation in crisis situations in Croatia and in the world. The director of the Croatian Agency for Agriculture and Food – HAPIH, Darja Sokolić, Ph.D. presented the aspect of food safety and food donation in her presentation, where she emphasized the guidelines for food donation concerning expiration dates and introduced the current regulations related to food safety.


Afterward, volunteers from the City Red Cross Society Osijek and the Vukovar Duga Charity Association shared their experiences and examples from the field, while they were in direct contact with the beneficiaries and donors.


Thereafter, 18 participants debated about the problems of food waste and options for its disposal, about the donation system in the Republic of Croatia which was analyzed and they also elaborated on food donation in crisis situations providing suggestions on how to improve the system.


Since a manual about food donation in crisis situations shall be created within the project, the participants worked in groups and discussed the topics after which the guidelines, content, and concept of the manual were adopted. During the discussion, some participants shared their experiences related to food waste, the disposal of extra food, and food donations in crisis situations. They concluded that there is a lack of information related to food donation in crisis situations, whereas, with more information, the public could be very useful and get involved in the donation system. It was also concluded that the participants recognize the Food Donation Manual in Crisis Situations as a very important tool during communication with organizations of civil society that are involved in food donation, mediators, donors, potential donors, local governments, or citizens that want to donate food in crisis situations.


As part of the workshop, the participants made a field trip to a social self-service, organized by Vukovar Duga Charity Association, which gave the participants valuable insight into everyday situations of food donation between mediators and beneficiaries.