Tafelbox 1

Buffet leftovers to take away

About one million people in Austria live in poverty or are at risk of poverty. Many even lack the essentials such as a meal a day. On the other hand, even freshly baked bread often lands directly in the garbage in Austria. The remains of festive buffets must be disposed of. The purpose of the “TafelBox” is to try to remedy this situation.

You often have a guilty conscience when you take the next bun in overflowing buffets and still have plenty of delicious food left over. With an innovative concept, the “Wiener Tafel” now offers a solution to protect already processed and prepared food from disposal. With the “Tafelbox”, the public should be sensitized against the disposable culture in our society.

The “TafelBox”

After a six-month trial run with almost 100 events, the box has been introduced to the public in October. It should not only prevent high-quality products from ending up in the garbage, but also remind people at home to handle food with care.

Tafelbox 2

Markus Hübl, the press spokesman for the “Wiener Tafel”: "In cooperation with the Kastner Group and Pacovis, we offer a food-safe, well-closable food transport box made from a compostable material, which can be purchased by catering companies for buffet-style events. At the end of the event, guests are invited to pack the leftover food and bring it home. "A TafelBox costs 50 cents with a minimum order of 300 pieces, of which 20 cents go to the Wiener Tafel as a donation for the transfer work.

The concept of the TafelBox is just beginning and there are still many hurdles to overcome. For example, the acceptance in the city is much higher than in rural areas, where taking away food at a buffet causes embarrassing reserve. The “Wiener Tafel” faces up to logistical, legal and socio-political challenges and breaks new ground with the “TafelBox” concept. Markus Hübl: "The rescue of processed foods should be possible in the long term through concrete solutions and public relations, but also through changes in legislation. With the concept of the “TafelBox”, we create facts and prove that clever solutions and combined forces can solve even socially highly complex problems.”

15 years “Wiener Tafel”

The “Wiener Tafel” was founded 15 years ago, making it the oldest association for social transfer in Austria. The more than 450 volunteers save up to 3,000 kilograms of original packaged food every day before disposal in the garbage. Surplus products that are fit for human consumption and made available to around 16,000 people suffering from poverty in 99 social institutions. In Austria, there are four other organizations of this kind, which have founded an umbrella organization in the spring.

Overproduction, logistics errors, incorrect labeling, optical defects and minor packaging damage are the reasons why flawless food ends up in the trash. In Vienna, every day as many baked goods are destroyed as are eaten daily in whole Graz. Markus Hübl: "We are an independent social and environmental association that finances itself through donations and works like a social shipping company. Our exclusively volunteers collect the food from a total of five vehicles and take them to where they are needed.

The suppliers are not only grocers, but also producers and farms. Lately, we have also received food from forwarders who have been left there due to logistical errors. The need raised with computer support in the facilities to avoid supplies that are currently not needed. "The “Wiener Tafel” sees itself in addition to the social mission but also as an environmental organization in which sustainable action is at the center. Two of the five delivery vehicles have been converted to natural gas and a tricycle electric trailer has recently added to the fleet.