Circular Food through Innovation and Collaboration

Each dollar invested in reducing food waste saves 14 dollars, reported Champions 12.3, illustrating why minimising food waste across the supply chain is a sound financial investment. Moreover, contributing to solving this problem is increasingly considered a social and corporate responsibility. Innovations, as well as collaborations, are critical to supporting value chain actors in contributing towards the sustainable development goal 12.3 of halving food waste by 2030.

Food is a vital resource that requires our fullest attention. According to the European Commission, 88 million tonnes of food is wasted in the EU annually, costing some 143 billion EURO. At the recent REFRESH Food Waste 2017 Multi-stakeholder Conference this past May in Berlin, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis stated: “It is imperative to develop a food chain where the food waste is minimised, and food value is maximised…. Food waste prevention is a central part of the transition towards a circular economy…. The EU Commission is happy to help with reducing food waste and encourages all actors to drive this and help incentivise solutions for actions.”

Against this backdrop, it was timely for the CSCP to re-present at the conference – among its REFRESH partners from the Netherlands, Spain and Hungary— its multi-stakeholder engagement work in the form of the German REFRESH Pilot Working Platform. This platform is a collaborative agreement between public and private organisations who agree to act to tackle food and packaging waste. Fourteen companies and organisations are participating in sharing knowledge and experiences of their activities to improve the availability of food waste data and to discuss and initiate innovative pilot projects. The latter includes an activity on employee engagement for the German retailer PENNY, to be conducted in the second half of 2017.

The extended programme and presentations from the conference are available for download here as well as video and photo documentation of the day.

For more details about REFRESH’s objectives and existing results, you can refer to the REFRESH interim results brochure or contact Nora Brüggemann.

© Photo By Tim Ottenstein