Have fun in Addis.
It’s a real pleasure. I look forward to staying in touch and following your amazing work.
Yes, great. I want to thank you so much. I just want to be mindful of your time. [laughs]
Very good advice, I think.
We do live stream it, and then it, of course, stays…It lives in perpetuity, because the time difference is intense.
In Mexico City.
I just want to thank you so much for your time and your readership. We feel so fortunate to have the Taiwan People’s Food Bank Association as part of our network. It’s just fantastic to just be here and learn more about the amazing culture here in Taiwan ...
That would be great. Thank you so much.
That’s great. We would love to be connected, though, to the foundation.
Well, enjoy yourself.
It’s not a bad place to be trapped. It’s such a wonderful city, and the weather is always so wonderful there.
Oh, really? Are you going to Seyad? Are you going to go to the north at all, go to Lalibela?
Not since they built the high-speed rail, though. Have you taken it yet?
Of course. Yes, it is. [laughs]
Good for you. Oh, wonderful. Addis is wonderful.
Oh, really? OK. [laughs]
You target, I’m sorry, what?
Yeah, it should be a good time.
It’s the week after. It’s October 21st through 23rd in Seoul. Then we’re inviting all the members in the Asia-Pacific region to join us for the 24th and 25th.
It’d be very interesting to stay in touch, because there might be a way to collaborate on that.
Can we jump-start these social ventures in a much faster way than what they’ve…Normally, it could take 5 to 7 to 10 years for a food bank to become established. Anyway, that’s launching in Seoul. It’s the week after World Food Day.
Exactly. Then we’re also providing some limited seed financing. The idea is that, after participation in this program for three years, that we’re hoping these organizations will be serving approximately 40,000 people facing hunger in their communities.
The commitment these companies are making is that they’re going to provide some sort of asset to these non-profits. Whether it be product donation, but thing, also skill sharing. Maybe it’s warehouse space. Maybe it’s technological support, governance support, things like that.
We’re also linking them up with mentors within the network, so people that obviously walked this walk before and can share knowledge. We’re putting together a corporate council of companies that are working in the region that are interested in seeing food banking take off.
We’ve invited leaders from seven countries throughout Southeast Asia to be part of this program. We’re going to convene them annually, obviously, so they can meet each other and share best practices, do training, knowledge exchange.
Generally, in Southeast Asia, the model is still very new. Over the next three years, GFN is committed to fostering the social entrepreneurs that want to start food recovery organizations in Southeast Asia. We’re taking a cohort approach to it.
Yeah, of course. Anyway, food banking is very new in the Asia-Pacific region, as you probably know. We’re really fortunate to have five members in the region. There is also a food banking system in Japan that we’re aware of and stay in touch with.
No, that would be wonderful. [laughs] Hopefully, after the first phase.
That’s a very smart way to think about it. Very interesting.
Not in the first round. I’m so sad. When it does, I’ll make sure I call. We’re excited about it. We’re hoping to eventually do it for all of our members. Hopefully, give companies and food producers the information that they need to donate with confidence ...
Yeah, it’s an atlas. You read the press release. Oh, my goodness. See? Again, you know everything. It’s fabulous. Anyway, no, it’s great.
There’s a lack of tax or financial incentives. We’re partnering with Harvard University to an in-depth study of 15 different countries.
There’s liability concerns, of course. Is the food going to be potentially diverted for sale and end up on the gray market? There’s obviously food safety concerns. A lot of times, it is cheaper, in some places, to throw away food than it is to donate it.
Yeah. Obviously, a big part of the way food banks, as you all know, work is that it’s important that food producers all along the supply chain are donating the project. There’s a number of policy barriers to that in many places.
That’ll be great.
We can promote it as part of GFN’s World Food Day campaign as well.
Oh, very interesting. They’ve tried to do a similar project like that in Paraguay and then in Shanghai as well. They’ve good success. It’s a great way to build community, too, I think. It’s fascinating.
Hard to say.
We’re also supporting pilots of it in Colombia, and really thinking, is this a way to reduce costs and get more surplus recovered for the purposes of hunger relief in other countries?
Exactly, because they don’t have to pay the landfill, the surplus product. We’re very interested in seeing…It’s been rolled out, for example, in the United Kingdom. It’s being rolled out in Canada.
We’re seeing really great success in those types of technologies. What we’ve found is that the private sector is willing to actually pay for that, because they, of course, it’s great PR.
If it’s a big retailer, like a Carrefour, obviously, they have a lot of surplus on a daily basis. Even smaller corner stores or convenience stores, a charity can come by and pick it up, really within a couple of hours’ notice.
That information then can be very quickly transmitted to the food bank, where they happen to be based. Then the food bank can then connect charities that are around where the retailer is, regardless of their size.