Each year a significant amount of fruit goes to waste as it is not picked in time. A new campaign in Luxembourg seeks to improve the situation.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development and Syvicol (Syndicate of Luxembourg Towns and Municipalities) have joined forces to launch the “Gielt Band” ("Yellow Ribbon") initiative, in an attempt to tackle food waste.

If a yellow ribbon is tied around a fruit tree, this means members of the public can pick the fruit for personal use - free of charge.

Usually, harvesting fruit without the owner's permission is prohibited.

Both the ministry and syndicate are calling upon municipalities to particiapte in the project by marking communal fruit trees with yellow tape. Private individuals are also welcome to join the initiative.

A national campaign will launch in September with the appeal "Hei dierft Dir plécken - Zerwéiert Iech!" ("you can pick here, help yourself") to coincide with the apple harvest.

The website www.antigaspi.lu will provide a geographical map showing the municipalities participating in the campaign to help would-be foragers find a location close to home. It will also include a behaviour charter to ensure fruit pickers exercise respect for nature and the areas around the trees.

This initiative forms part of the anti-waste solidarity pact ("Zesumme géint d'Liewensmëttelverschwendung") which was signed by 92 of the 102 municipalities in Luxembourg. It will take centre stage for the International Day of Awareness of Food Loss and Waste on 29 September.

Minister of Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development Romain Schneider and Syvicol's Emile Eicher said the campaign would help to actively engage in the fight against food waste, as well as promoting local fruit harvests.