New digital platform for food donation „Plate by Plate“ launched

February 24, 2021

Belgrade, 24 February 2021 – The first digital platform for food donation in Serbia „Plate by Plate“ has been launched and started operation. Thanks to the cooperation between Delhaize Serbia and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) it has become possible for the first time in our country to make the food donations process be just a click away.

The digital platform is an upgrade of the humanitarian project „Helping those in Need“, which has been implemented since 2015 by the Belgrade Food Bank and Delhaize Serbia. So far, more than 5,000 tons of fruit and vegetables has been donated. All organisations participating in the project have received their accounts at the „Plate by Plate“ platform, meaning that by a single click they can reserve food packages which in the course of the day are allocated for donation by Maxi, Mega Maxi, Tempo and Shop&Go retail shops. Through the platform, the shops will make daily updates in the information on available quantities of fruits and vegetables and a beneficiary organisation can collect food supplies from more than one shop. The platform also enables registration of new interested humanitarian organisations and associations which will, through the Food Bank, be given their accounts and an opportunity to collect on daily basis the available food.

„A responsible approach to managing food surpluses and providing assistance to those who need them the most has for many years been a strategic part of our business. In order to additionally enhance our actions towards the common goal, with the support of our partners, we have developed a new food surplus management model which will enable, on annual basis, greater volumes of food to reach final users, the ones who need it the most“, said Milica Popović, corporate communications manager of Delhaize Serbia.

The Platform has been presented during an online panel, during which Neven Marinović, director of “Smart kolektiv” and Forum for responsible Business, led the participants through the narrative on the significance of finding a solution for food surpluses.

Through the „Plate by Plate“ platform, humanitarian organisations will have direct access to information about food availability from the moment retail shops publish their information about food donations, after which they need to reserve the donation and collect it.

“Thanks to the continued support of company Delhaize Serbia, beneficiaries of more than 60 humanitarian organisations have for a number of years been in a position to count on having a meal every day. We are very glad that thanks to the new digital platform, it will be possible to increase the quantity of food donated, and consequently increase the number of final beneficiaries of the Belgrade Food Bank“, said Katarina Žigić Blagojević, executive director of the Belgrade Food Bank.

The new digital platform for food donations in Serbia has been developed by the UNDP IT team. The platform is based on blockchain technology, making the whole process traceable from the first to the last step, more transparent and secure.

„In developing the platform, UNDP closely cooperated with the company Delhaize Serbia, the Belgrade Food Bank, and humanitarian organisations, in order to ensure that the platform is simple and user-friendly, but also scalable for use by other companies whom we invite to follow the example of Delhaize Serbia and join this initiative. By donating food surpluses, we contribute to responsible use of resources, development of circular economy, and reducing harmful emissions of greenhouse gasses, contributing to achieving a number of sustainable development goals“, said Francine Pickup, Resident Representative of UNDP Serbia. 

Donating food surpluses will contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 2 – World without Hunger, and Goal 12 – Responsible consumption and production, and it will contribute to reducing harmful emissions of greenhouse gasses (GHG) produced by organic waste, thus contributing to fighting climate change (SDG 13).

„We have been continually committed to initiating social dialogue on relevant issues, including awareness raising, inspiring and motivating the society at large. Sustainable creativity and UN Sustainable Development Goals are part of our corporate strategy, reflected in our campaigns and initiatives. This refers primarily to SDG 17 – Building partnerships for sustainable development. This is the crucial goal, since the challenges we are facing are becoming greater and more complex. Brands have the potential to make the world a better place, and the ‘Plate by Plate’ project is an excellent example of this”, emphasised Jelena Jazić, director of McCann Belgrade, who participated in designing the platform’s visual identity.

It is estimated that annually in Serbia 250,000 tons of food is wasted, while one in eight persons in the country is living in risk of poverty.