SIG Foundation wins Save Food award for its “Cartons for Good” initiative

SIG Foundation said it is proud to receive international recognition for its project “Cartons for Good”, which uses SIG’s expertise in filling technology to help communities process and preserve their food into meals locally.

The prize, which is awarded annually by the Save Food initiative, was presented to the Foundation on December 13, 2023, in Cairo at pacprocess MEA, the No. 1 trade fair in the Middle East & Africa region for Processing and Packaging.

The prize money will be invested in a comprehensive and locally based study to ensure that the impact of Cartons for Good in Egypt is as high as possible. Every day, a third of the world’s food is lost. Farmers are often unable to sell their entire harvest at local markets, and they also have no way of preserving the products.

The SIG Foundation’s Cartons for Good project, which has been operating in Bangladesh since 2019, convinced the jury with SIG’s expertise in using filling technology to help communities process and preserve their food into meals locally. SIG engineers developed a system that uses the company’s boil-down technology to preserve food in SIG SafeBloc carton packs. Vegetables and fruit are processed into tasty meals without preservatives and filled into carton packs. This means that the meals can be stored at ambient conditions for up to nine months without refrigeration. The aim of the foundation is to expand “Cartons for Good” to other parts of the world.

The Cartons for Good initiative brings SIG’s food preservation and packaging technology to regions where innovative solutions are urgently needed to combat food loss and malnutrition. Surplus food is preserved, farmers have an additional income and meals are distributed to schools and provide underprivileged children with a regular lunch. This allows them to go to school instead of working for food.

Holger Dickers, managing director of the Swiss-based foundation, says: “We are honoured to receive the Save Food Award. Cartons for Good is the foundation’s flagship project. It is a unique initiative designed to help communities to save surplus food, support farmers’ livelihoods, and promote children’s nutrition and education.”

The globally active SIG Foundation envisions a future where good nutrition and clean water are available to everyone and natural habitats are preserved for future generations. Together with partners, the foundation’s purpose is to identify, drive and promote activities and projects that strengthen civil society and create positive impacts for the environment. These goals are consistent with SIG’s sustainability strategy – the net-positive commitment to contribute more to society and the environment than the company takes out.

The Save Food initiative, launched in 2011 by Messe Düsseldorf, interpack and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is committed to reducing the enormous quantities of food that are lost or wasted worldwide every day. This year, the SAVE FOOD initiative has launched a competition to find projects that tackle this goal in innovative ways. The winner has been announced as part of the pacprocess MEA to be held jointly with Food Africa in Cairo from 12 to 14 December 2023. Both trade fairs from part of the interpack alliance portfolio.

In Egypt, 50% of all fruit and vegetables are wasted, this means 73 kgs of food waste per person per year. At the same time, 32.5% of Egyptians live below the poverty line, one in five children under 5 years of age is stunted.

“The support from Save Food will be invested in a comprehensive and locally based study to achieve the highest possible impact in Egypt with our initiative”, says Sandra Hallaschka, co-project leader of Cartons for Good at SIG Foundation. The objectives of the study are to identify the regions in Egypt where large quantities of freshly produced food is regularly lost because it cannot be sold to consumers through the established commercial supply chain. Secondly, the definition of the benefits for healthy meals, whether for families, schools, or disaster victims. And finally, to develop recipes that consider local flavours, the seasonality of vegetables, and the right nutritional value for the beneficiaries.

The SIG Foundation has already taken the first steps towards implementing Cartons for Good in Egypt.

On September 29, the Foundation signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the NRCP Foundation (Natural Resources and Climate Protection Foundation) to pave the way for the launch of the project in Egypt. The first phase of the agreement includes securing funding and project planning in Egypt.

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