The project “No Leftovers Malta” is a three-pronged initiative by the Malta Human Rights Education Centre (MHREC) that strives to create a bridge between the ‘Right to Food’ as provided for in the International Covenant on Economic and Social Rights in Article 11, and its accessibility to all members of the Maltese society by eradicating obstacles and creating a better-enabling and waste-free environment for this to become a reality.
It is estimated that one third of the food produced worldwide for human consumption every year, which is approximately 1.3 billion tonnes, is either lost or wasted. The UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development puts food waste at its forefront in Goal 12: to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns, including cutting food waste in half by 2030.
As a voluntary organization, the MHREC has a duty to inform and educate the public on issues and practices related to human rights principles. Human Rights create social conditions which are essential to sustainable development. Through a sustainable future, human rights ideals and principles can be fulfilled and ensured. In 1986, Member States of the United Nations proclaimed the ‘Declaration on the Right to Development’ which held that everyone is ‘entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized’.
Through this Initiative, the MHREC aims to foster awareness and educate on sustainable and responsible consumption and production, foster and create an open dialogue where members of societies are given the opportunity to engage and participate in the eradication of food waste.
Goal 12: to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns, including cutting food waste in half by 2030.
Aims and Objectives:
The Initiative aims at providing a platform for the Maltese community to inform, share and realistically practise responsible consumerism. The ultimate objective of the initiative is to bring forward a forum where stakeholders and main actors can communicate easily and pave the way to a more sustainable, waste-free and fair community. The target focus groups include goods providers (mainly food retailers) and consumers specifically non-governmental organizations and other volunteering spheres that are or can benefit from the distribution of food that would otherwise go to waste.
This initiative has as its inspiration the online application “Too Good to Go” that connects customers to restaurants and stores that have unsold food surplus which covers most of the major European cities and has been a success for a number of years.
The first prong is the Outreach phase, which will be carried out online through a Facebook page, after face to face engagement and communication. In the weeks leading to the online initiative, a number of vendors as well as organizations and volunteers within the field will be approached and given an information sheet in order to discuss their participation in the initiative.
Stakeholders will be reached through various channels including email and meetings, and they shall be informed about the Call of Action of the Initiative- mainly to join the facebook page ‘No Leftovers Malta’ so that a forum for discussion is created. Facebook as a social media platform was chosen in order to facilitate and truly make the Initiative accessible to the majority of the community.
Through this Facebook page, the second prong of the Initiative which shall be Research and Discussion can assist in bringing to light various issues and also important information related to the implementation of the last tier of the project. Within this second stage, MHREC shall be in close contact with interested parties from both the suppliers and consumers side, and more importantly with volunteers around the various local communities that can assist with the implementation of the project ‘No Leftovers Malta’.
Various issues that are projected to be brought to light will be mostly related to the feasibility and most importantly, the logistics of carrying out the project through its’ final phrase of Implementation. At this stage, the Initiative aims to realize its full potential and be able to maintain a steady pace where consumers and producers are brought together in paving a better and fairer consumerist society. Through the facebook page, consumers and various stakeholders such as volunteers will be able to see what food would be going to waste at their local groceries, supermarkets, fruit and vegetable vendors and in turn, sellers will have the opportunity to contribute to reducing waste by giving away any leftovers that would otherwise go to waste.
Finally, MHREC plans on publishing a report on the findings and results of the Initiative on the MHREC website and sending it to local authorities in order to showcase, inspire and also shed light on the issues faced by the local community in its strive for a sustainable future.
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