Saturday 23 June 2018 WUR celebrated its 100th anniversary with the World Wide Wageningen Alumni Reunion. His Majesty King Willem-Alexander officially opened the alumni day on Wageningen Campus. Representatives from the REFRESH pilot initiative “Food waste is Precious” took the opportunity to offer a gift to the Dutch King: a basket full of delicious food surplus products. 

 

 

Food and nutrition security (FNS) – having access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food – supports society and communities by ensuring good health, sustainable jobs and lifelong enjoyment. To ensure that future generations achieve FNS, certain global pressures, such as population growth, urbanisation, resource scarcity and climate change, must be addressed. For example, feeding an estimated global population of 9 billion by 2050 will require a near 60 % increase in food demand.


Eighteen Steering Committee (SC) members met on 11 April 2018 for the sixth meeting of the German REFRESH national platform to continue the discussions on data collection, own activities and pilot projects.


Four interactive working groups coming up in 2018 and 2019 will provide a space for stakeholders to discuss policy options to reduce food waste. Three working groups will have specific policy focuses: voluntary agreements, animal feed, and consumer behaviour. A final event will provide an overview of the policy outcomes from the entire REFRESH project. These follow two working groups held in 2017.


The first surplus food shelf in the Netherlands opened today at George Verberne’s Jumbo supermarket in Wageningen. This store shelf features products made from ingredients which would otherwise have been wasted. As part of REFRESH, Wageningen University & Research is using this living lab for research into the consumer acceptance of such surplus products.


An online database, FoodWasteExplorer, has been developed to aid identification of market opportunities and better waste utilisation. It contains compositional data for agri-food waste streams. Representatives from the food industry, researchers, independent consultants, and animal nutritional experts are sought to help evaluate FoodWasteExplorer prior to wider release.


On the 28th of November 2017, EU commissioner Andriukaitis (Health and Food Safety) and Minister Schouten (Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, NL) visited the ‘Food Waste Factory’ in Veghel, located in THREE SIXTY, the heart of the Dutch ecosystem for circular economy in food. They met with the Dutch frontrunners on food waste prevention.


The progress of the Refresh project and the latest initiatives of the members of the Platform were presented, the next steps to be followed in the coming months were also discussed. We enjoyed both an interesting and entertaining program. 


How can we influence consumers to waste less food? Erica van Herpen talked about strategies to diminish household food waste. She argues that campaigns that emphasize the amount of food that goes to waste may backfire, and emphasizes the importance of social norms.


Nineteen companies took part in the 12th HFBA – FAO donation convoy, which drew attention to the controversy of food waste and hunger by crossing Budapest on October 16th.


Between September 28 and 29, 2017 the first Food Waste Hackathon was organized in Miskolc, by the Bay Zoltán Applied Research Nonprofit Ltd. During the event the enthusiastic participants had to design an application or web-page that can help to mitigate the amount of food waste along the entire food chain.


Tesco Europe has published its report on the amount of food surplus and waste generated during its operation for the financial year 2016/2017. The chain stores has published such data first from the sector representatives in the Central European region, for it is convinced that transparency and measurement are indispensable to taking even more effective steps to reduce waste.


The paper published in the Journal of Cleaner Production analyses consumer food waste behaviour by means of a model that brings together food-related and waste management variables.


Foodnavigator.com covers EU efforts to combat food waste, and mentions the REFRESH project and the newly launched Community of Experts (CoE)


On 11 October 2017, thirteen representatives of the German REFRESH Steering Committee (SC) met for their fifth meeting in Wuppertal to discuss data collection, activities and pilot projects.


Euronews covers Sirplus in Berlin, and features REFRESH researcher Stephanie Wunder.


On World Food Day, 16 October 2017, Toine Timmermans, Program Manager Circular Economy in Food at Wageningen University & Research, and Coordinator of the EU projects FUSIONS and REFRESH, presented at the event Harnessing Research and Innovation for FOOD 2030 in Brussels.


The Hungarian pilot working platform (PWP) meeting was organised as a conference alongside the National Agriculture and Food Exhibition and Fair. The event took place in September 2017 and the main organizer was the Agricultural Marketing Agency. The primary objective of the event was to present professionally the development of advanced, efficient, environmentally conscious businesses, family farms, small and primary producers, and introduce their values ​​and results to the profession and to the general public. One of the main focus points of the event was the fight against food waste.


The Hungarian Pilot Working Platform initiated the pilot project “Ugly but tasty” in February 2017.  The main goal of the pilot is to start working on a “farm to fork” approach to food waste related activities in the fruit & vegetable sector. This chain is one of the shortest chains as processing is not part of it, thereby we can relatively easier focus on the full chain from production to consumer.

The main focus of the project is on the lower quality products, where the plan is to test possible channels for both a marketed (sale) and a non-marketed (free redistribution) basis.


In April 2017 The Hungarian Pilot Working Platform initiated the pilot project “Just like at home”. The aim of the project is to dissolve the paradox of “oversupply by virtual needs” and creating a common basis of understanding and awareness about the issue of food waste in the whole chain (from caterer to consumer) by matching a realistic/real demand/supply in this special type of consumer scenario where the cost of food is not a primary selector.


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