The big winner of the LBF, Spesasospesa, is helping citizens in need while fighting against food waste. The founder tells us how in this interview.
There are millions of people all around the world that can’t afford a healthy diet even though there is enough food produced to feed everyone. Helping citizens in need while fighting against food waste seems therefore an obvious way of promoting food accessibility to all. That’s what SpesaSospesa does, the big winner of the Louis Bonduelle Foundation award. Interview with the founder: Davide Devenuto.
WHO IS DAVIDE DEVENUTO?
A famous Italian actor, the star of an Italian TV series for over 15 years. But also a man with a mission: facilitating donations to help people and families in need by recuperating food surplus what lowers food loss. Davide Devenuto (D.D) initiated the non-profit project SpesaSospesa, winner of the Louis Bonduelle Foundation Award in 2022.
Devoting time and passion to this project, D.D. aims to help citizens in need while fighting against food waste using an innovative technology.
How do you describe the project SpesaSospesa?
D.D. SpesaSospesa.org is a project of the non-profit organization Lab00 created to support the most fragile families by combining solidarity and technology in the fight against waste.
Food and non-food businesses can donate surplus or expiring products, but also sell them at discounted prices. Non-profit organizations, associations and volunteers are involved in the collection and distribution of basic necessities to families in need.
Which food are proposed for donation and why?
The project is very simple: on one side we started to raise funds and collect donations. On the other side we started to pull together potential food waste and surplus. It’s nothing really new, but we added some innovation and technology to the process.
Companies may donate or sell their surplus on the platform at a lower price than the market price. According to the needs analysis of the supported communities, this allows us to make responsible use of the donations we receive and allows us to buy more food when needed thereby helping more people. It also allows companies to have a second sustainability market for their products.
The project uses blockchain for the donation. How does this innovative technology works?
D.D. The Regusto digital platform allows, through blockchain technology, the transactional management of donations, basic necessities and services, guaranteeing maximum transparency through the digitization and traceability of flows.
The integrated blockchain technology makes it possible to record all transactions, movements and destinations of goods. An added value for companies, non-profit organizations but also public administrations that can monitor the impact generated and plan environmental and social policies aimed at the local level.
As of today, in two years, SpesaSospesa has raised over 1 million euros:
- Distributed over 2K TONS of goods
- 2M equivalent meals distributed
- 000 kg CO 2 2 emission prevented
- 3M of m3 water waste prevented
- 2M of m2 of soil consumption prevented
How is the team SpesaSospesa composed?
D.D. The SpesaSospesa.org’s core team is composed of 6 people. We also work with other external professionals of different organizational areas to guarantee that all processes are professionally executed. Today we operate in 26 municipalities, cooperate with various local associations, over 400 companies are donating or selling their products on the platform and about 20 companies are supporting the project economically, on the media, with services, tools or any sort of cooperation.
What were your biggest challenges in elaborating this project?
D.D. The biggest challenge was to set up the project in a moment like that of the Covid-19 pandemic. Not being able to physically be there to put the pieces together was a big obstacle but it also made us realize how much the initiative meant to us and how much we wanted it to really work. After two years, with the results achieved and the huge network that we have managed to build around the project, I can say that we did it. But, of course, we won’t stop here.
What made you participate to the Louis Bonduelle Foundation Award?
D.D. The participation of the SpesaSospesa project to the Louis Bonduelle Foundation Award aimed at elevating the initiative at the European and international levels. This was an excellent opportunity to share our focus on the fight against food and no food waste to others.
How do you feel about winning the Louis Bonduelle Foundation Award?
D.D. Winning the Louis Bonduelle Foundation Award represents for me and for the whole team the confirmation that all the commitment, dedication and care shown for the project have generated an important milestone. We are proud of this recognition and the opportunity to have made our project known internationally and in a prestigious context for the sector in which we operate. We hope to be an example for those who want to serve their communities.
How are you going to use the support of the Foundation?
D.D. We are already working to expand the SpesaSospesa.org project by increasing the network of collaborations amongst companies, non-profit organizations, and communities. The main idea is to increase the number of people and families which we are able to help, increasingly reducing the environmental impact generated by the disposal of surplus products while we fight against waste.
Where would you like this project to be in 5 years?
D.D. Thanks to the success achieved by the SpesaSospesa.org project, in November 2021 we have activated a medical-assistance support project for women and children in economic and social difficulty. Through the collaboration with national health structures and fundraising campaigns we are able to replicate the format of SpesaSospesa.org also in the health field. The new project is called TempoSospeso.org and aims to give others what we have most precious, a little of our time.
What would you say/advise to someone who wants to launch a project encouraging the food transition and/or accessibility for all?
D.D. SpesaSospesa’s mission is to help people in difficulty by recovering potential waste. It is a different, innovative and sustainable way of seeing and planning the economy and the world we live in. For me, any action that goes in this direction, even the smallest, also has a social and cultural value.
One of the greatest satisfactions of this adventure is having met many like-minded people who share this vision of the future and who have chosen to help us and collaborate with us. Nothing would have been possible without passion, enthusiasm, great motivation, the ability to listen and learn, making changes over time, building strategic collaborations and the strong desire to help others.