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The Concept Behind Foodsharing

There are many different ways to fight food waste. We have already introduced you to apps like togoodtogo, olio or eatsmarter. In this blog article, we take a closer look at the concept of foodsharing – an internet platform that aims to help with the distribution of surplus food!

What Is Foodsharing?

The German initiative “foodsharing e.V” works against food waste by rescuing overproduced and unwanted food from private households and businesses that would otherwise end up in garbage bins. In addition, the organization sees itself in the educational task of sensitizing people to the issue of food waste and thus strengthening the overall appreciation of groceries. The initiative has its origin in Berlin (Germany), where it was founded by Raphael Fellmer in 2012.

Groceries successfully saved from the garbage can since 2012:
51.140.217 kg

Average rescue missions
per day:

Ever since 2012, the organization has grown steadily. Nowadays, you can find “foodsharers” in almost all major German cities as well as smaller towns. Click here, to check whether foodsharing is also active in your local area!

How Does It Work?

With the help of its online platform, the organization has managed to build up an entire foodsharing community. Through the platform, members can get in touch with each other, exchange ideas and coordinate events. Over time, “foodsharing” has become an international movement with more than 373,000 registered users (“foodsharers”) from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and other European countries. At the same time, 94,000 volunteers, so-called “foodsavers” help with the organization of events and with the pickup of groceries. The main goal is to make the open-source platform easily accessible from all over the world. For this purpose, foodsharing is and will remain independent, advertising-free and non-commercial.

Another basic principle  is that you don’t have to pay anything for membership and for picked up food. Users registered on the foodsharing platform can share their surplus food directly with other users via the “food baskets”- feature by offering those groceries for direct pickup. These food baskets are often offered by, for example, local people who travel abroad and still have surplus food left at home.

But the initiative has also set up local distribution stations – so called “Fairteiler”.  You can see one of those in the picture on the right. Anyone can bring their surplus food to these stations, as well as take food from others, regardless of whether they are registered on the foodsharing website or not. A “Fairteiler” station is always equipped with a refrigerator and shelves for storing rescued food. On the respective foodsharing website you can find updates and information about food that has newly arrived at the local Fairteiler. So far, the organization has set up 983 of these distribution stations. It should be noted, however, that you can only hand over food, which is still durable and in edible condition. 

Fairteiler von foodsharing

Quelle: Fairteiler / foodsharing e.V.

Furthermore, private individuals as well as businesses can have their surplus food directly collected by “foodsavers” with the help of the platform. Currently, foodsharing is working together with 9,250 cooperation partners, such as supermarkets, bakeries, or other businesses.  The cooperation partners allowed “foodsavers” to pick up leftover food from their local settlements regularly. These groceries are then either donated to associations, food banks and soup kitchens or get offered at the distribution stations for food exchange.

How Can I Participate Myself?

Simply go to the foodsharing website in your country and register for free with your name and email address. This way you officially become a “foodsharer” and can give away food or pick up offered food.

If you want to get even more involved, you can become a “foodsaver” yourself. As a “foodsaver” you pick up surplus food directly from the cooperation partners. But as a requirement for this position, you must complete an online test with ten questions to prove that you know about the guidelines and rules of foodsaving. After that, you will have to accompany already experienced “foodsavers” on three pick-ups to learn more about the general procedure. Finally, if you pass these steps, you will receive your own foodsaver card, which you must show at future pickups.

Do you already have experience with foodsharing? Feel free to share your knowedge in the comments!


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