LIFEfoodCycle - Digital circular economy market place for food waste prevention

LIFE19 ENV/PT/000689

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Contact details:

Contact person: Angela Cruz
Tel: 351930475904
Email: macruz@sonaemc.com

Project description:


An estimated 88 million tonnes of food waste is generated annually across the food supply chain (FSC) in the EU, representing around 20% of total food production. Retail and wholesale is responsible for an estimated 5 million tonnes (5%), of which 83% (3.8m tonnes) is considered avoidable. It is thus the FSC section with the highest waste reduction potential. Furthermore, around 6% of total GHG emissions in EU and 8% of global GHG emissions result directly from food waste. The impact of food waste also has socio-economic and ethical consequences.


The main objective of the LIFEfoodCycle project is to implement a business model in the food retail sector that optimises food chains and reduces food waste (by at least 10%, equalling 1 600t/year), along with related emissions. The project plans to provide European food retailers and stakeholders with a user-friendly digital tool, Circular Economy Market Place (CEMP), to facilitate the trade of food surplus that is nearing its expiry date, which is currently treated as waste. It will thus promote environmentally sustainable business practices in the EU.

Specifically, the project aims to:

  • Create a local digital CEMP to facilitate the trade of food surplus;
  • Enrol around 10 local B2B users (businesses and charities) per supermarket and 50 supermarkets in total (i.e. 500 users in total) in the CEMP;
  • Demonstrate the marketability/economic viability of the CEMP and its underlying new B2B business model, by achieving at least 50% profitability rate by the end of the project; and
  • Facilitate the adoption and scalability of the solution to other waste products and at other locations while increasing the types of stakeholders (waste suppliers and users) – with at least 10 geo-locations and two additional waste products identified during the project.

    The project contributes to the several EU policies, such as the Roadmap to a Resource-Efficient Europe, the EU Action Plan for Circular Economy, the Waste Framework Directive, the Multi-Stakeholder Platform on Food Losses & Waste; the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 and the Green Procurement Policy. It also focuses on the Paris Agreement and the European Court of Auditors’ Combating Food Waste.


    Expected results:

    • At least 10% of waste avoided, equalling more than 264.9t/year of food waste across the 50 supermarkets enrolled on the CEMP, and more than 1 600t/year across all 302 Continente supermarkets (impact after project duration);
    • A total carbon footprint of 546t/year CO2-eq considering 50 participating supermarkets and 3 296t/year CO2-eq considering 302 stores;
    • Reduction of transport emissions by 10% due to the decreased need to transport waste to disposal facilities;
    • Elimination of the use of 1 248 sheets of paper/year by digitalising all transaction documents;
    • Adoption of sustainable business practices by at least 10 local users (B2B and charities) per supermarket (500 users in total);
    • Creation of a sustainable and replicable business model for long-term CEMP operation;
    • At least 10 locations and two extra waste products identified to which the CEMP can be scaled, multiplying the beneficial environmental and socio-economic impacts across the EU; and
    • More than 245 000 individuals/year will be reached via the communication activities, raising awareness of the problem targeted and changed business practices applied.

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Environmental issues addressed:

Target EU Legislation

  • Environmental management & assessment
  • COM(2008)400 - “Public procurement for a better environment" (16.07.2008)
  • Nature protection and Biodiversity
  • COM(2011) 244 final “Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020 ...
  • Waste
  • Directive 75/442/EEC -"Waste framework directive" (15.07.1975)
  • COM(2015)614 - "Closing the loop - An EU action plan for the Circular Economy" (02.12.2015)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Partners PHENIX(PHENIX SAS), France


Project reference LIFE19 ENV/PT/000689
Duration 01-SEP-2020 to 29-FEB -2024
Total budget 2,532,128.00 €
EU contribution 1,381,945.00 €
Project location


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