News Release

Costa Cruises And Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus Take The Battle Against Food Waste To Sea

The partnership between Costa Cruises and the Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus sets off from Savona, allowing surplus food on board cruise ships to be retrieved and reused for the first time to help society.  


 Savona, 22 July 2017  Costa Cruises and the Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus present their partnership project that will allow surplus food on board cruise ships to be retrieved and reused for the first time to help society. The project is being officially launched today on board Costa Diadema, the Italian company's flagship, during its call at Savona, and it involves collecting food on board that has been prepared but not served in the ship's restaurants and distributing it to a local organisation that provides assistance to children in need.

The launch was attended by the Hon. Maria Chiara Gadda, promoter and sponsor of the Italian Law 166/2016 in favour of donations of surplus food and the Senator Andrea Olivero, Italian Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.


"Being here today shows that the law against food waste, in force since last September, is bearing fruit and that the government has acted promptly and effectively, and most importantly has triggered a cultural change on the issue of the battle against food waste and support for those in poverty. We must be aware of the widespread responsibility that this issue brings with it and that involves everyone, to different extents and in different ways, be they institutions, citizens, volunteers or the business world, because everyone can play their own part to help change things," said Deputy Minister Andrea Olivero.


"I'm thrilled, and it's a great source of pride for me to see that the innovation introduced by Law 166/2016, approved by the Italian Parliament with an overwhelming majority and strongly supported by the government, is bearing fruit. This is proof that politics is useful, and very much so: Parliament has been able to put needs and good practices into order. Today, this ambitious project is sending out an important message: retrieving surpluses even in the most complex situations is not just a pipe dream, but it is genuinely achievable if everyone takes on their share of responsibility," said the Hon. Maria Chiara Gadda.

"After the Gadda Law against food waste came into effect," said Andrea Giussani, President of the Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus, "we worked with Costa Cruises for eight months to organise a food surplus management procedure that would allow us to salvage high-quality and high-nutritional value food. Today we are very happy to know that this food will not be wasted but will be given to an organisation that provides assistance to children, at a time when ISTAT tells us that child poverty in Italy "has risen from 3.9% in 2005 to 12.5% in 2016. From now on, we will be focussing on extending this best practice to other ports in Italy, and we hope that all stakeholders will collaborate, as has happened in Savona." 

"We are very proud of this initiative: it is something that is brand new for the cruise sector and something that Costa has been very keen to see take place. The Banco Alimentare is an authoritative partner and a point of reference in the fight against food waste, and it will allow us to donate surplus food to the people who need it most. We are beginning with Savona and our flagship Costa Diadema, but the common goal is to involve more and more ships and ports in Italy and the Mediterranean. Since preparing food for disembarkation is a unique occurrence, it has led to the direct participation of the Customs Agency and Maritime Health Organisation Agency in putting the finishing touches to the procedures for delivery, and it shows that it is possible to turn the opportunities provided by Law 166/2016 into something worthwhile. All this is a starting point for anyone who wants to join us in the maritime sector," said Neil Palomba, President of Costa Cruises.

All year round Costa Diadema sails on one-week cruises in the Mediterranean that call at Savona on Saturdays. Every Friday, before the ship arrives in Savona, at the end of dinner, all dishes prepared in the restaurants and not served to guests (the "ready to eat" meals) will be collected. They will be placed in special aluminium containers that will be sealed and labelled to ensure that they can be traced, and then stored in the refrigerators on board. The next morning, after the ship docks at Savona, the containers will be unloaded and delivered to the Banco Alimentare volunteers, who will take them to Varazze (a town near Savona), to the Fondazione L'Ancora, which runs accommodation that is home to 20 children, as well as providing food aid to over 280 people in need, including refugees. 

"The social impact of the Gadda Law is very important for organisations like ours," says Fausto Romano, Director of the Fondazione L'Ancora Onlus, "that assists people in need in overcoming the most difficult phases in their lives. The Fondazione L'Ancora ONLUS has responded enthusiastically to the collaboration with Costa Cruises and Banco Alimentare to devise a plan for collecting and distributing food surpluses, which means we will receive varied and excellent quality food. Last but not least, from an educational perspective, the issue of reducing waste and of food as a gift is an important communication and growth tool for the children."

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 14 September 14 2016. The law restructures the regulatory framework concerning donations of unsold foods with simplification, harmonization and incentive measures, making it easier to donate any type of food in a controlled and safe way like before, 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 Organisations 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 minimise 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. 340 2411074 -

Costa Cruises

Gabriele Baroni Communication Director mob. +39 349 7668013 -

Davide Barbano Media Relations Manager mob. +39 334 6525216 -