On 11 December 2018 the 4th meeting of the Spanish REFRESH Platform was held at the headquarters of CREDA-UPC-IRTA in Barcelona. Taking into account that there are 6 months left until the end of the project, the most important results of the project at European level were presented and the evolution of the platform, that developed 30 initiatives in 2017, was evaluated.

A meeting that seeks the link between provinces

12 member organizations and 2 invited organizations attended this meeting. In order to deepen the continuity of the platform beyond REFRESH, it was considered important to invite two organizations from outside the project and from different provinces, to present their innovative initiatives on food waste.

First, ELIKA Fundazioa (Basque Foundation for Food Security) presented the project “Basque Country Pact against food waste”, coordinated by them. It brings together agribusiness companies, public administrations, associations and social entities aiming to define and implement an Action Plan to prevent and reduce food waste in the Basque territory.

Secondly, Vitartis (Association of the Food Industry of Castilla y León) presented the GO SAVEFOOD Operational Group that leads: this Operational Group brings together 8 business associations of the industry sector from 8 different provinces, and aims to design an innovative strategy to reduce food losses.

Innovative projects of the members

During the day, as every year, member organizations had the opportunity to present their projects.

The Department of Agriculture of Catalonia presented its strategy against losses and food waste, including the monthly bulletin #Aprofitaelsaliments.

The Waste Agency of Catalonia presented the Interreg project ECOWASTE4FOOD that leads as a partner in Catalonia: the project's objective is mutual knowledge between regions (through the visit to eco-innovations of all the territories) as well as the development of regional Action Plans that agglutinate to all the diversity of actors in the agri-food chain.

Similarly, the Food Bank of Barcelona presented how its work is connected with the fight against food waste through the redistribution of food not suitable for market, and how they are expanding their range of action to products such as yogurt or fish.

Finally, Raquel Díaz from CREDA-UPC-IRTA presented the results of a survey that is part of her thesis and that provides useful information for awareness campaigns: consumers react in different ways as they are presented with data on food waste in terms of environmental impacts, money, volume or number of meals.

Next steps

At the end of the REFRESH project, the platform will begin in the coming months a reflection process about its possible continuity. Different scenarios will be considered (who leads, how to obtain financing) and possibilities will be debated in the next and last meeting on May 9, within the framework of the REFRESH Final Conference that will be held at the Barcelona Design Museum on the 9thand 10th of May, 2019.