News Release

Costa Cruises and Banco Alimentare Working Together In The Fight Against Food Waste. Civitavecchia Joins The Costa Ships Food Donation Programme.

Civitavecchia, 1 December 2017 – The joint project between Costa Cruises and food-bank charity Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus to recover surplus food produced on cruise ships and re-use it for good causes goes from strength to strength.

A new chapter in this cooperative effort was introduced today on Costa Diadema, during the Costa flagship's call at Civitavecchia (Rome). The food prepared but not served in the ship's restaurants will now be collected for distribution to a local organisation that helps disadvantaged young people.

Five months after the Costa food donation programme began in Savona, 8500 portions have been provided for people in need, and now Civitavecchia has also come on board.

The Hon. Maria Chiara Gadda, the Italian parliamentarian who sponsored and introduced Italian Law no. 166/2016, which encourages the donation of surplus food, stated: "Today I'm very happy to inaugurate the second step of this initiative, that I'm sure it will involve soon more and more ports in Italy and I hope also in Europe. This project actually confirms that it's always possible to retrieve good and healthy food to help society, even in the most unexpected places like on board of a cruise ship or other holiday and entertainment spots. The Italian non-waste Law allows retrieving surpluses with increased simplicity, but in order to make it really happen we need more determination and willingness to cooperate among public institutions, companies and non-profit organizations."

"From now on another 36 young people will benefit from very high-quality dishes, based both on taste and also on nutritional value: this initiative makes us proud and repays all the efforts made to achieve this excellent result. We are ready to implement next steps of this important project, hoping that it will involve soon also the port of Palermo." said Marco Lucchini, General Manager of Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus.

"Today marks another step forward in our drive against food waste. We began in Savona last summer, and now, by extending the program to Civitavecchia, we are giving a concrete sign of our commitment to roll it out to other Italian ports. We are very proud of this initiative, which is a world first in the cruise sector, and it has only been possible thanks to our respected, authoritative partner, Banco Alimentare. We shall keep working to extend the program to other ships in the Costa fleet and to other Mediterranean ports of call. Joined-up thinking is crucial on this issue, and I am glad to thank the Italian customs authorities, Agenzia delle Dogane, and the maritime health office, Sanità Marittima, for all their efforts to ensure a smoothly run operation, and every other group that has helped to make this project possible." said Giuseppe Carino, Vice President Guest Experience at Costa Cruises.

Costa Diadema is deployed on week-long cruises in the Mediterranean throughout the year, calling at Civitavecchia every Friday. On the Thursday before, all the ready-to-eat dishes prepared in the restaurant areas but not served to guests will be collected. The meals will be placed in aluminium containers, which are then sealed, labelled for traceability and kept in on-board refrigerators. The next morning, after the ship moors in Civitavecchia, the containers will be unloaded and delivered to Banco Alimentare volunteers, who will take them to the charity La Repubblica dei Ragazzi, a community on the Aurelia road in Civitavecchia that provides support and education for young people with serious family problems.

"For more than 70 years, we have been welcoming young people with social problems. In our structure, we apply an innovative educational model, such as self-government that empowers kids by entrusting them to managing some organizational aspects of community life, helping them to grow in their own autonomy. As you can imagine, maintaining the structure is particularly expensive. For this reason, any help, like what we have now begun to receive from Costa Cruises through Banco Alimentare, allows us to respond appropriately to the various daily needs" - said Father Rafael Diaz, Director of "La Repubblica dei Ragazzi Onlus".

The Costa Cruises and Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus project, aimed at assisting those affected by poverty and social exclusion, has also been possible thanks to Law 166/2016 against food and pharmaceutical waste promoted by the Hon. Maria Chiara Gadda that came into effect on September 14 2016. The law restructures the regulatory framework concerning donations of unsold foods with simplification, harmonization and incentive measures, making it easier than before to donate any type of food in a controlled and safe way, but most importantly it gives priority to retrieving food to be donated to the poorest people in our country.

Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus
Since 1989, Banco Alimentare has been retrieving undamaged and non-expired food that would otherwise have been destroyed, as it was no longer saleable. Having saved it from the being thrown into the waste, it becomes valuable once more and becomes a resource for those in need. The Food Bank Network works throughout Italy every day via its 21 Food Bank Organizations across the country, coordinated by the Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus. Last year Banco Alimentare distributed over 66,000 tons of food. This includes 1,100,000 cooked food dishes and 326 tons of bread and fruit retrieved every day from catering establishments, corporate canteens, hospitals and schools. Every day, food is redistributed free of charge to 8,035 charities who help approximately 1,600,000 needy people in Italy, including 135,000 children aged 2 to 7.  Banco Alimentare's work is possible thanks to its 1,800 plus volunteers.

Costa Cruises is an Italian company that is part of Carnival Corporation & plc, the largest cruise group in the world. For 69 years the ships in the Costa fleet have been taking their Italian hospitality and authentic Italian-style holidays, with exquisite food, fine wines, unique shopping experiences and a huge selection of famous Italian brands, across seas around the world. Currently the Costa fleet comprises 15 ships in service, all flying the Italian flag. In 2019 and 2021 two new next-generation ships are scheduled to be delivered, fuelled by liquefied natural gas (LNG), the "cleanest" fossil fuel in the world.  The Costa Cruises sustainable development strategy pays great attention to the issues of nutrition and food production.  Over recent years, on board the Italian company's ships, highly effective measures have been taken to minimize food surpluses, and these will be developed further via a series of initiatives that will aim to get the ships' guests involved.

For further information:
Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus
Laura Bellotti - Press Office – mob. +39 340 2411074 -
Costa Cruises
Gabriele Baroni – Communication Director – mob. +39 349 7668013 -
Davide Barbano – Media Relations Manager – mob. +39 334 6525216 - 
Cristiano de Musso – Head of Corporate Communication – mobile +39 3346805095 –
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