Contributing to reduce poverty through redistribution of unsold food products
Last Minute Market is a spin-off developed by the Faculty of Agriculture of University of Bologna which operates in over 40 cities in Italy. Last Minute Market (LMM) addresses two issues: first, the massive food waste at retailer level and, on the other side, the increasing food shortage connected with economic crisis and modern day poverty. This second issue is often left in the hands of charity organisations, but with LMM many city actors (municipality, SMEs, associations etc) are involved in this relevant fight.
The retailers participating are granted a discount on waste tax, proportional to the quantity of food donated. This scheme helps by redistributing the food resource to people in need. The associations who handle and distribute the food are chosen directly by the donors. LMM currently involves 5 associations/social cooperatives in Ferrara. It’s a long-term experience and it has been growing successfully since 2003. Retailers currently involved have been with the project for several years.
The project was embraced by the municipality ten years ago and now the municipality is the unique coordinator of the LMM in Ferrara. Its role is played at two different levels. As a first step the municipality facilitates the signing of a collaboration protocol among retailers and associations willing to recover the food waste and to distribute it to people in need. At the second level, the municipality calculates and applies a discounted waste tax to retailers.

Resources needed

Volunteers, coordination

Evidence of success

Since 2004 in Ferrara around 90 tonnes / year collected and redistributed, saving valued at €183,000
Over €10,000 savings by municipal treatment for food waste
Over €15,000 discount on waste tax for retailers who donates

Potential for learning or transfer

Last Minute Market (LMM) links retailers who have food surpluses with people in need. LMM is a triple win innovation that makes the local food retailing more resource-efficient, the waste treatment less costly and brings food to people in need.

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Main institution
Municipality of Ferrara
Emilia-Romagna, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
January 2004
End Date


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Good Practices being followed by

Federica Gravina

Municipality of Casalgrande