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Leaders of Social Change: FEBA and Food Bank Belgrade as circular economy partners


In the framework of Conferences – Partnerships for a better future, the Media group Adria organized on 19 November the Conference on Leaders of Social Change, to which FEBA and Food Bank Belgrade (FBB) were invited to participate as Circular Economy Partners. It was also an occasion to raise awareness about the FBB need to increase its work capacities by getting more funds.

Introductory speeches were held by the Minister of European integration (Government of the Republic of Serbia), the Ambassador/Head of Delegation of the EU to the Republic of Serbia, the UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator in Serbia.

The key message of the conference was that each person can be a leader of changes in the society and only together - the authorities, the media, the business and civil sectors - we can succeed in building a better future. The media plays a big role in transparency and implementation of the SDGs Agenda 2030.

After the introductory speeches, three panels of discussion were animated by important speakers:

1. Sustainable Development – the role of different stakeholders in achieving SDGs

The participants of this panel were the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative; the President of the Board KPMG - UN Global Compact Serbia; the Director of Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights - YUCOM; Sustainable Development Managers from IKEA, Coca-Cola and Atlantic group Serbia and the UNICEF representative.

At the end of the discussion, an example of best practice was presented by UNICEF.The Circular Economy

2. The Circular Economy

The following topics were treated:

  • Government and Business: a common role in facilitating the transition from linear to circular economy
  • Circular Economy - transforming business ecosystem through new business cooperation
  • Circular Economy - benefits, investments and the way towards change
  • Our Circular Future: how to engage citizens

The speakers were the Minister of the Environmental Protection; the Head of Department for Circular Economy in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Serbia; the President of European Movement Serbia; the Program Director of GIZ Serbia; CRS managers of Banca Intesa and a national beer company.

3. Path to Serbia’s EU future - Legislation amendments as a precondition of social change - Law on food safety: “Best before” and “use-by” labeling

This last panel of discussion was the most concrete and important for the FBB. The participants were the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Economy; the representative of the Ministry of Finance; the President of Environmental Committee – AmCham; a member of the Executive Board and the Vice President of Supply Chain of Delhaize Serbia.

At the end, the Minister of Agriculture confirmed that, after a strong pressure from the Environmental Committee – AmCham, the Government adopted the proposed changes as regards the food safety law, which should be legitimated in the Assembly in March or April 2019. This changes in the law will allow companies to donate more and various food items.

The next step will be to change the law about the VAT on donations.

Jacques Vandenschrik, the President of the European Food Banks Federation, closed the conference with a speech. As he explained, food is important, even more for the 23.5% of people at risk of poverty in Europe. In this context, the scandal of food wastage is not only ethical and social, but also environmental and economical. The Food Banks are playing an essential role in trying to find a solution to this major issue that Europe is facing.

To see Mr Vandenschrik full speech, watch this video from 1’51’00.

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