Four years of common work - despite the imminent official end of the EU research project REFRESH in June 2019, the final meeting of the members of the German REFRESH Steering Committee was characterized by a relaxed, trusting atmosphere and an optimistic view into the future.
Bringing together food waste experts from across Europe, the REFRESH Community of Experts (CoE) has launched a series of four webinars on 'Tackling Food Waste Across the Supply Chain'. The series demonstrates how policy makers, manufacturers, retailers, distributors, municipalities and many more organisations involved in the food supply chain can effectively address food waste. This month-long webinar series, hosted from 9 April to 2 May 2019, includes expert speakers from ten institutions. The webinars offer an opportunity to gain insights from case studies, ask questions of the speakers and get signposts to further information.
By early summer 2018, almost 900 PENNY trainees had been trained on reducing food waste as part of a REFRESH pilot project in Germany. Now the German food retailer PENNY and the CSCP wanted to know: To what extent is the topic still present among the trainees months after the training? Was it worth the effort? And would it make sense to repeat the training with new trainees?
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.
The German REFRESH Steering Committee (SC) met for its seventh meeting on 8 November 2018 in Wuppertal. Seventeen representatives from various companies and institutions discussed own activities, European and German political developments and the future of the committee.
Three REFRESH contributions were presented at the biggest waste management conference in Austria, the ‘Recy & DepoTech’ (recycling and landfill engineering) in Leoben, Austria, November 7-9 2018. More than 500 participants visited the conference well known in the German speaking area, following topics around ‘waste as a resource’ from landfill sanitation to circular economy.
A London schools programme aimed at instilling messages about healthy sustainable eating, preventing food waste and recycling unavoidable food waste, has been named one of the world’s ten most inspiring sustainability programmes for young people.
Finicky eating habits and wasteful processes have led to a system that discards millions of tonnes of food each year, but new approaches are salvaging the scraps we never see to make products that people will want to eat. The EU Research & Innovation Magazine HORIZON published an article on how innovations from REFRESH and other projects offer different possibilities to valorise by-products from food production.
From the increasingly-popular OERei™ to Friendly Fish™ sustainable fish food and Bloosom™ soil improver, Protix are processing insects – cultivated on fruit and vegetable residues – into a wide variety of products. "And there are many more applications in the pipeline," says Tarique Arsiwalla, founder of one of the first 'insect factories' in the world and a member of the Taskforce Circular Economy in Food (TCEF). The Taskforce is one of four national platforms launched within the REFRESH project.
From a magic box which allows consumers to buy surplus food from shops and restaurants, to an exclusive liqueur made from recovered apples, Dutch start-up entrepreneurs are driven and creative in the fight against food waste. Four of them tell their stories.
Crooked cucumbers, two-legged carrots, pears too big - or too small. In the Netherlands, more than 10% of all fruit and vegetables grown will not be sold, because they don’t fit the accepted norms. Kromkommer wants to change this perception of ‘beauty’. "We’re giving fruit and vegetables back their rights.", says founder Chantal Engelen.
A broad, cross-sector approach to halving food waste and optimizing the value of (unavoidable) residual flows is the keystone of the European program, REFRESH. "We gather knowledge and insights and make them available to other countries," says Toine Timmermans, spokesperson for the Dutch Taskforce Circular Economy in Food (TCEF), one of four national platforms launched within the REFRESH project.
Do not waste anything. That is the mission of the Helmond company, VanrijsingenGreen. "We sow, harvest and sell vegetables sustainably. And we create added value from what is left over, processing it into products such as carrot pulp and kale juice ", says Jan van Rijsingen, former director of the family business and now board member of the Taskforce Circular Economy in Food (TCEF). TCEF is one of four national platforms launched within the REFRESH project.
Entrepreneur Bob Hutten is convinced that the key to reducing food waste is cooperation. In the hothouse atmosphere of his THREE-SIXTY Innovation Center in Veghel, he brings together parties, inside and outside the food chain, to brainstorm new solutions. "We have to start thinking in terms of systems", says Hutten, member of the Taskforce Circular Economy in Food (TCEF). The TCEF is one of four national platforms launched within the REFRESH project.
How do we together reduce food waste and what are the challenges and needs of the different players? This was the question that engaged the almost 80 participants under the "Challenge Workshop on Food Waste " held at the Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE) Agrifood and Bioscience, Gothenburg, Sweden on September 27. The workshop resulted in the identification of 48 concrete activities.
From fruit liqueurs and carrot juice to fish food made with insects, Dutch entrepreneurs are launching one innovation after another in their fight against food waste. This was evident during the Taskforce Circular Economy in Food (TCEF) event, held, on 1 October 2018, for Taskforce partners and members of the European Food Losses & Food Waste platform. The Taskforce is one of four national platforms launched within the REFRESH project.
The REFRESH Spanish Platform has been cooperating with members on food waste reducing actions since 2016. Since then, pilot projects looking at whole supply chains, consumer acceptance studies, and food waste in hospitality have been carried out, alongside baselining and multiple meetings to share good practice and collaborate on open questions.
The REFRESH Community of Experts (CoE) is a knowledge-sharing platform which seeks to promote best practice, foster discussions and improve stakeholder engagement. The website compiles initiatives in food waste prevention and reduction, which are categorised and tagged for easy user accessibility. At the same time, the website facilitates dialogue and collaboration between stakeholders.
Tesco has been making efforts to reduce food waste in its stores and warehouses. A new report finds that in order to take further effective steps it is necessary to scan and measure where and how much excess food and waste is generated during its operation. The food saving activities of TESCO are closely connected to the REFRESH pilot project “Broadening the bridge”.