National Prevention Day Against Food Waste

By: Andrea Adelmo Della Penna

From: GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade)

On 5 February 2024, the 11th National Food Waste Prevention Day was celebrated in Italy, with various events aimed at the general public of all ages. On this occasion, a new dedicated initiative was launched by national institutions, involving several ministries, which wanted to emphasise the importance of educating consumers towards sustainable consumption patterns, which also directly impact the availability of resources used for food production and distribution. The following article briefly describes the history of the National Food Waste Prevention Day, and the initiatives organised to mark this event.

The National Food Waste Prevention Day (Giornata Nazionale di Prevenzione dello Spreco Alimentare) was first celebrated and established on 5 February 2014, following the conception by Spreco Zero, the campaign of Last Minute Market (a member of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Waste of the European Commission) dedicated to food waste.

Under the theme Stop #foodwaste, the edition focused on the need to multiply good practices on a daily basis, and at every level – citizens, public bodies, businesses, associations, schools – starting with the prevention and reduction of food waste in homes, in the food production, distribution and trade chain, in catering, in canteens, in behaviour and habits of buying, handling and storing food. Several initiatives involving these figures were organised in Italy on this day at regional and local level, involving all stakeholders.

The Zero Waste Living Award (Premio Vivere a Spreco Zero)is a contest aimed at public bodies, businesses and citizens for the identification, promotion and dissemination of the best good practices in food waste prevention and commitment to food education and sustainability, easily replicable in multiple contexts. Winners are honoured during the National Food Waste Prevention Day celebration event on 5 February, and the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste on 29 September.

The Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA) is a research institute which operates under the Italian Ministry of Environment and Energy Security (MASE). It organised, together with the Italian Ministry of Enterprises and Made in Italy (MIMIT), the communication campaign ‘Facciamo circolare – Le azioni contano(which may translate either as Let’s circulate/Let’s do circular – Actions matter), broadcast on TV, social media and digital channels.

The aim is to make citizens (consumers) aware of more sustainable consumption behaviour through small daily actions, and by addressing the connection between the waste of raw materials, energy and natural resources (e.g. water) and the work involved in the collection, production and distribution of food, and the ‘simple’ gesture of throwing edible food in the bin.

The pressure on the environment was also addressed by the MASE Minister, Gilberto Pichetto Fratin, declaring the importance of good practices and cooperation with regional and local institutions, taking advantage of the current Italian laws that include provisions on the prevention and reduction of food waste, without forgetting the need to raise consumer awareness on the issue (1).

To know more about Italian national initiatives, good practices and regulatory provisions to prevent and reduce food waste, it is possible to consult the EU Food Loss and Waste Prevention Hub and the European Circular Economy Stakeholder platform



The logo of the 11th National Food Waste Prevention Day is made by Altan for Spreco Zero by Last Minute Market.

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