Project to reduce food waste in the EU by 30% begins
23 September 2015 • Author(s): Victoria White
The EU Horizon 2020 funded “Resource Efficient Food and dRink for the Entire Supply cHain” (REFRESH) project has kicked off.
Twenty-six partners from 12 European countries and China will work towards the project’s goal to contribute towards the objectives of reducing food waste across Europe by 30% by 2025, reducing waste management costs, and maximising the value from unavoidable food waste and packaging materials. The REFRESH project will run until June 2019.
Around 100 million tonnes of food are wasted annually in the EU (estimate for 2012). Modelling suggests, if nothing is done, food waste could rise to over 120 million tonnes by 2020.The food resources being lost and wasted in Europe would be enough to feed all the hungry people in the world two times over. Together with moving to healthier diets, reducing food waste both in and out of the home is the most significant demand-side measure for reducing the carbon impact of the food system.
REFRESH to address issue of sustainable food consumption with reduced food waste
REFRESH will focus on the reduction of avoidable waste and improved valorisation of food resources. Backed by research to better understand the drivers of food waste, the project will support better decision-making by industry and individual consumers. This project takes an innovative, systemic approach to curb food waste through a holistic “Framework for Action”. REFRESH will build on and go beyond existing initiatives to develop, evaluate, and ensure the spread of social, technological, and organisational insights and practices related to food waste reduction. This will be underpinned with guidance to legislators and policy makers to help support effective governance to tackle food waste.
The Institute of Food Research (IFR) is a key partner in the new EU funded multinational research project. Professor Keith Waldron, Director of the IFR Biorefinery Centre, said, “With 100 million tonnes of food waste each year, it’s imperative that we take an EU-wide, comprehensive approach to reducing avoidable waste, and finding better uses for what can’t be avoided.
“One of the key societal challenges in Horizon 2020 is sustainable food consumption with reduced waste, which this new project addresses.”
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