In the context of the LIFE-IP CYzero WASTE Project and specifically sub-action C4.3, which concerns actions to prevent the creation of food waste and agricultural waste, on Saturday, December 9th, 2023, a joint action took place between the LIFE IP WASTE Project and the Zero Food Waste Cyprus Initiative to prevent the production of food waste in the OCHI farmers market.
The Zero Food Waste Cyprus Initiative consists of a group of volunteers whose goal is to reduce the production of food waste and the negative effects of food waste on the environment. This is achieved by rescuing unused products from the stalls of the producers and traders at the farmers market and then distributing them to groups of people in need of food. Thus, preventing them from ending up in landfills and at the same time offering important help to people who need it.
Specifically, one of the Actions implemented by the Zero Food Waste Cyprus initiative is the “Saturday Aftermarket” Action. During this Action, the Zero Food Waste Cyprus Initiative team, gathers every Saturday at the OCHI Farmers Market in Nicosia during closure and by using reusable boxes they collect fruits and vegetables from the local vendors and producers, with whom have developed cooperation. The fruits and vegetables are collected for free because they are either not chosen by consumers due to aesthetic factors, or because they cannot be preserved until the next farmers market. After collection, fruits and vegetables are separated into edible and non-edible. The non-edible goods are taken to a composter to produce compost while the edible, after being weighed, are transported with the personal vehicles of the Zero Food Waste Cyprus volunteers team to St. Paul’s Anglican Church, where they are provided free of charge to people who need it, such as refugees and asylum seekers (aftermarket process). If, after the end of the aftermarket, there are stocks of edible fruits and vegetables remaining, the Zero Food Waste Cyprus team either delivers them to organizations with which it maintains an open line of communication and cooperation, who will use them for their own needs, or composts them.
The LIFE IP CYzero WASTE team was happy to participate in the “Saturday Aftermarket” action by contributing to all the stages of the process as described above and used a service vehicle of the Department of Environment for the transportation of the goods from the OCHI Farmers Market to the Church.
The goal of the participation in the LIFE IP CYzero WASTE Project was to support and highlight this good practice implemented by the Zero Food Waste Cyprus Initiative while simultaneously strengthening its dissemination in order to encourage the wider participation of society, organized groups and entities in the context of their Corporate Social Responsibility. Collective effort is the force that shapes change, and the active participation of all of us in such initiatives helps to tackle the environmental, social and economic problem of food waste.
The cooperation and active involvement of the project in such actions will be strengthened not only with the ZFWC Initiative but also with other bodies carrying out similar work. We hope and encourage cooperation and await your invitation to participate in actions you organize related to waste prevention, reuse and recycling!