Working Table 2

Corporate Partnerships


Laura Gavinelli
Management consultant & trainer

The Working Table, with representatives from both the private sector and FEBA members, started with an exercise of associating words in relation to partnerships. It was found that the collaboration between Food Banks and the private sector is not only a matter of recovering and redistributing food but it goes beyond, it is a collaboration for the common good.

The participants first discussed about what the Food Banks and private Companies give and get in this collaboration exploring the Food Banks’ views and the ones of the corporations.

While collaborating with Food Banks Companies give food, technical support, long-term perspective, operational efficiency, donations and volunteers. On the other hand, a fruitful corporate partnership with Food Banks, let Companies get: customized service, marketing opportunities, feel with the public, eyes on the ground, extensive coverage, a jump into reality, rapid solutions, professionalism, and flexibility.

While collaborating with Companies, Food Banks give: immediate impact, continuity, expertise, readiness to operate, reliability, and flexible way to go beyond profits. On the other hand, a fruitful corporate partnership with Companies, let Food Banks get: continuity, necessary support to survive, marketing opportunities, trust and continuity of the relations over time, food, and donations.

Then participants discussed about what hinders a fruitful partnership. One of the first issue highlighted is that for Companies it is often difficult to combine business priorities and pressure with the values and the main goals of the Food Banks. On the other side, Food Banks suffer from the different perceptions, goals and visions on what is the common good. Participants then highlighted the common necessity to overcome obstacles created by different goals and visions.

The last part of the discussion focused on how COVID-19 boosted corporate partnerships and the fact that this challenging period was an accelerator for corporate partnerships and the collaboration between the private sector and the Food Banks in Europe.

How to keep this relationship over time for a post-Covid Europe?

Both private actors and Food Banks must invest on trust, shared goals, legal agreements, a clear and frank communication, a more efficient coordination, long-term relations, raising local awareness, engage volunteers from the Companies, rely on Food Banks’ logistic ability and invest on skills.