This report presents insights about in-home food waste, including: the amounts wasted, household’s food prevention practices, and the influence of motivation, abilities, and opportunities on household food waste. It is based on a large-scale consumer survey in Germany, the Netherlands, Hungary, and Spain. 

The United Nations estimates that if farmers around the world fed their livestock on the food that we currently waste and on agricultural by-products, enough grain would be liberated to feed an extra three billion people. To help food businesses contribute to such a grand waste-free future, REFRESH has built a web app for businesses to clarify which surplus food is suitable, and what needs to be done to send the food to animal feed in a safe and legal way.

To reduce food waste, a dynamically adjustable shelf life and discounting strategies can be used by a retailer selling perishable products. In this paper both strategies are investigated and evaluated in terms of profit, waste reduction and shortages.

This report aims to consolidate existing and new consumer understandings at the in-home level into a research framework and methodology that allows comparison across countries. The report contains the REFRESH best practice to measure household level food waste.

The report presents the results from a qualitative research into household food waste in Hungary, Germany, Spain  and The Netherlands. In each of the individual countries, six focus groups are conducted. This report presents the most striking similarities and differences between the countries and the analysis per country. It shows that awareness and motivation regarding food waste are present and on the rise in all countries but to different degrees and with different contingencies, depending on socio-cultural and socio-economic factors.

Different methods of assessing consumer in-home food waste are compared in this report: survey on food waste in general; survey on food waste in the past week; keeping a food waste diary; letting consumers photograph their food waste; letting consumers collect food waste in kitchen caddies. Results indicate which survey questions appear suitable to measure food waste in large surveys, and which can best be avoided. It also provides insights in new measurement methods for smaller samples.

Common qualitative research protocol for application in other countries as part of the Community of Experts initiative of the REFRESH project.

Consumer food waste is not the consequence of discarding waste, but of the accumulation of behaviours performed earlier in time. This report describes and interlinks the behaviours leading to waste and the factors influencing them. This report has integrated prior research into one theoretical framework in which the focus lies on the motivation, the abilities and the opportunities of consumers to prevent food waste while managing their household.

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