At our final conference in cooperation with the Barcelona Design Center on 10 May, 2019, we will present and discuss the REFRESH project results and spur future action on EU food waste reduction among business, policy, research, social innovators and civil society. Preceding the conference, on 9 May, 2019, a selection of field trips and events will be offered, featuring food waste innovators from business and civil society in the Barcelona area.

REFRESH Conference, Berlin, 2017, Photo: Tim Ottenstein


The REFRESH Conference Draft Agenda is now available for download


The Conference on 10 May

Key areas from the REFRESH work that will be showcased are:

  1. The development of voluntary agreements across the food supply chain showcasing the experiences of Spain, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands and China that resulted in the “REFRESH voluntary agreements blueprint”
  2. Approaches to reduce consumer food waste through changed household food management practices, business practices and policy interventions
  3. Ways to use and valorize unavoidable food waste for animal feed, fibers and chemicals, and the assessment of their environmental and economic benefits
  4. Opportunities arising from an integrated perspective on sustainable food systems and food policies that include food waste prevention and reduction and achieve multiple sustainability benefits.

The programme for the main day of 10 May will take place in the Disseny Hub Barcelona. It will use innovative participatory methods, arts and design, and hands-on activities to achieve maximum impact. 150 participants from across Europe are expected.



In the evening we will continue networking at our "REFRESH Disco Chop". Together we will dance, chop and cook rescued veggies to music, reflect on the impressions of the day and share a delicious meal made from food that would otherwise be wasted. The evening programme will be brought to you by Feedback Global and Plataforma Aprofitem els Aliments (PAA).


Register here:

Application form for participation in the conference and field trips

As we have more people interested in joining the conference than space available, and because we want to assure a good mix of policy makers, business representatives, innovators, civil society and the research community, there is a short application procedure within the registration form. In most cases we will only be able to register one representative per institution. Please do not book your travel until you have received the confirmation from the conference organisers, who will get back to you within 10 days. We thank you for your understanding!

Participation in the conference is free of charge.


Field Trips and Events on 9 May

On the day before the conference, five field trips and events are offered, featuring food waste innovators from business and civil society in the Barcelona area. Please see below for details on each of the events. Participants are encouraged to join the full two day experience as it allows insights to food waste reduction from a practice and research perspective, offers a broad variety of networking opportunities and seeds fresh ideas for sustainable food systems.

Participation in the field trips on 9 May is co-financed by its participants, see costs below. You can express interest in participation via the conference registration form. Spots will be filled on a 'first come first served' basis. Details about the payment methods will be provided upon confirmation of your registration.

What are you most interested to learn more about? Make your choice from the menu below!

1. Food-for-Thought: an Interactive Dialogue over Dinner about Food Sustainability in the City

It’s not everyday you get to sit down and enjoy a delicious vegetarian meal with a guided discussion on food itself! Join us for an open & interactive dialogue over dinner to talk sustainable food and what this term actually means in the urban context. As a seasoned conversation starter on the topic, Mayya Papaya will be your host serving up some serious food-for-thought as she draws inspiration from all sorts of sustainable food examples and experiences in the city of Barcelona and beyond. Come share your impressions as we collectively cook-up an engaging conversation together in preparation for the REFRESH Final Conference! The dinner will start at 7pm at an up-and-coming kitchen space run by a young & dynamic couple who are real-life champions for sustainable food and living in all that they do. They will be preparing a 3-course meal using seasonal and sustainably sourced ingredients and biodynamic wine to fuel the occasion.

Host: Mayya Papaya, Foodisms

Time: 19:00 - 21:00

Location: an up-and-coming kitchen space in central Barcelona

Price per person (self pay): 45€ - including a 3-course dinner and wine


2. Food Waste Reduction at “Mercabarna”, the Mediterranean's Biggest Food Hub - a Guided Walking Tour

Housing more than 700 companies and It operating 24 hours a day, Mercabarna is the Mediterranean’s biggest food hub. It guarantees the supply of fresh food to over 10 million consumers. The companies at Mercabarna specialise in the distribution, preparation, import and export of fresh and frozen products, such as fruit, vegetables, fish and meat as well as processed and semi-processed food. Our guided walking tour will lead us to the Central Fruit and Vegetable Market, the Food Bank warehouse which serves as a collection and distribution centre for the excess fresh food donated by the companies, and the “Green Point” where Marcabarna’s waste is collected and separated.

Host and Location: Mercabarna food hub (approx. a 40 minute ride from the airport or a 60 minute ride from central Barcelona by public transportation)

Time: 14:00 - 16:00

Price per person (self pay): 25€ + public transportation (4.20€) to the meeting point and back (self pay)


3. How to Preserve “Rescued” Fruit and Vegetables - A Hands-on Workshop with Delicious Results

Espigoladors will offer a 2.5 hour afternoon workshop in their kitchen where participants will learn how to preserve rescued seasonal vegetables and/or fruits using professional and traditional methods. We will try two recipes using different ways of preservation. The final products of the workshop can be taken home as a memory (but watch out – not in your hand luggage). Espigoladors is a non-profit organization that fights against food waste in and around Barcelona. They organize harvests of imperfect fruits and vegetables directly from the field and donate to charity. They also produce and sell high quality food products, such as jam, produced from rescued food. In the Espigoladors kitchen, people at risk of exclusion get a chance to re-enter the job market in a participatory, inclusive and sustainable manner.

Host: Espigoladors

Location: Espigoladors Kitchen at El Prat de Llobregat (approx. a 25 minute ride from the airport or a 50 minute ride from central Barcelona by public transportation)

Time: 15:45 - 18:30

Price per person (self pay): 45€ + public transportation (4.20€) to the meeting point and back (self pay)


4. The Agricultural Park of Gallecs - A Guided Bicycle Tour followed by a Tasting of Local Organic Produce

The Agricultural Park of Gallecs, also referred to as the ‘green paradise’ 15 km north of Barcelona, was born out of social fight to prevent urban pressure, that lasted more than two decades. In 2000, the Consortium of Gallecs was established to protect the land, consisting of six municipalites and the Catalan Government. Since then, Gallecs has undergone a transformation from an abandoned area to a flagship project of sustainable food production and recreational activities. Today, around 50% of the agricultural territory are farmed organically. During this field trip, Gemma Safont I Artal and Albert Garcia Macian from the Consortium of Gallecs will take us on a ride to discover the area by bicycle. We will find out how its people benefit from its win – win projects. We will meet local producers and visit the agricultural cooperative, learning from their activities to recover old local varieties of vegetables. Two particular highlights of the visit will be Can Quildo farm and its project of organic vegetables for public canteens, and a brand new organic egg farm. The visit will end with a picnic-style food tasting of local produce, all organic and delicious, including the infamous TOC beer. Cheers!

Host: Gemma Safont I Artal, Manager of the Consortium of Gallecs; and Albert Garcia Macian, Head of the European projects and International Relations at the City Council of Mollet

Time: 16:15 - 19:15

Location: Gallecs, 15 km north of Barcelona (approx. a 30 minute ride from central Barcelona, Sants or Plaça Catalunya, by public transportation)

Price per person (self pay): 30€ + public transportation (5.10€) to the meeting point and back - including bike rental and local food tasting (self pay)


5. Zero Waste Mission – A Hands-on Workshop on how to make Bioplastics from Food Waste

Tackling the problem of the massive waste generation, more specifically the problem of plastic waste, this workshop focuses on the research of bioplastics and how those can have different physical and aesthetic properties (color, density, strength, odor, etc.). In this 4-hour upcycling session, we will create our own bioplastics! Our host will be the PLAT, an open-source creative platform that through r&d, innovation and education addresses upcoming challenges of food-related industries. They use design thinking methodologies, cutting-edge technologies to develop effective solutions. Our workshop instructors will be Ignacio de Juan-Creix, PLAT’s Innovation Director, imagineer, creative entrepreneur and innovator - he will also be our keynote speaker at the REFRESH Final Conference the next day; and Irene Ródenas, PLAT’s Explorer of Interfaces, product designer and mixed media artist.  The workshop is divided up in a theoretical and a practical session. In the theoretical session, we will get a glimpse of the bioplastic research conducted at PLAT institute. In the practical session we get the chance to explore different techniques, compositions and recipes for making bioplastics and to develop our own prototypes in small group settings.

Hosts: Ignacio de Juan-Creix (PLAT Innovation Director) and Irene Ródenas (PLAT Explorer of Interfaces)

Time: 16:00 – 19:00 followed by a networking dinner in a nearby restaurant (optional, self pay)

Location: The PLAT Institute’s lab in Poblenou’s Innovation District, Barcelona

Price per person (self pay): 50€ - includes workshop and material


If you have any questions about the conference, please do not hesitate to drop us a line at:


Conference Venue:

Disseny Hub Barcelona
Plaça de les Glòries Catalanes, 37-38
08018 Barcelona

Getting There
Metro: Line 1, Stop: Glòries (c. d’Àlaba)
Bus: Lines 7, 92, 192, H12 - Stop: Glòries
Tram: Trambesós T4, T5, T6 - Stop: Glòries


Get an impression of what a REFRESH Conference looks like:

REFRESH Conference 2017 Website

REFRESH Conference 2017 Video


09/05/2019 to 10/05/2019


  • English


Ecologic Institute