Research and innovation
Research and innovation
We aim to facilitate the exchange of good practice in food waste prevention and reduction. If you wish to contribute and share your initiative, please contact the Commission at: SANTE-FOOD-WASTE@ec.europa.eu
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'A la carte menu' menu
Hvidovre Hospital, in Denmark, led by Chef Mogens Pedersen Fonseca, changed how food services are operated to reduce food waste produced via the previously rigid patient catering system. Following on four years of extensive work to modify the kitchen and hospital facilities and rethink the cooking strategy, Mogens Fonseca Pedersen and his one hundred employees were able to offer anytime ‘a la carte’ order options to patients, while remaining within budget limitations. The programme has helped the hospital avoid 40 tonnes of food waste per year, and the ‘a la carte’ style encourages portion management; money saved through the initiative has been reinvested to further reduce food waste and improve quality of hospital food services.
Separate collection of food waste
Types of waste (such as plastic, organic waste and scrap metal), which are produced in smaller quantities, are sorted according to the local waste-recovery systems available.
In Spain, Carrefour has benefited from the introduction of biomethanisation units. This treatment recycles organic waste that has been sorted by the stores and produces compost and electricity from biogas. It is less costly than conventional waste management systems and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Carrefour also uses this treatment in Belgium, where all consolidated stores sort waste from their grocery, bakery, fruit and vegetable sections. In France, the biomethanisation of waste was successfully tested at the store in Lomme (Nord) and has since been deployed in nine other hypermarkets in the Nord-Pas de Calais region. In 2010, the efforts made by these 10 stores resulted in the collection of over 1,126 tonnes of organic waste, which were then reused via biomethanisation. With the opening of centres in the west and south of the country, other stores in France also carried out methanisation tests in 2010. The Group’s aim regarding biomethanisation is to work with government and local authorities to promote the development of such treatment centres in France. Other solutions, such as composting, are also being studied. In 2010, over 373 tonnes of organic waste were recovered at nine French hypermarkets for use as compost. Carrefour stores in France also donated during year 2010 24,000 tonnes of limited-term storage goods.
In Brazil, Carrefour reuses its organic waste as animal feed. As part of the Fazenda Brasil project, in which 52 stores participate, food products that are no longer fit for human consumption are used to feed animals at partner farms. These include products such as rice, flour, pasta, vegetables, grains and bread. In 2010, over 200 tonnes of food were reused in this way, saving over €18,500.
Cooperative framework for supply chain improvement
In 2006, there was a commitment from industry of 20 million euros to work on food waste issues. To fulfil this commitment, Wageningen University and Research Centre works with government actors and businesses to optimise supply chain processes for private sector companies, using a process of monitoring, modelling, fact finding, scenario analysis and business model integration. Wageningen University, among other research organisations, provides expertise to help businesses to understand the primary opportunities for waste reduction in their supply chains and to incorporate long-term processes for waste reduction in their production activities.
Eurest restaurant and food campaign
Waste data disclosure
150 units of the Eurest catering organization are participating in efforts to quantify food waste, publicise results to staff and customers, and explain the impacts of food waste and how it can be prevented, including using a spreadsheet to measure waste, with a graph entitled "so much waste we produce every single day" which is available to guests and staff. Through these types of initiatives and by having units measure waste once a month, Eurest has reached 22,055 guests. The initiative, which has been continuing for over half a year, has led to a reduction of 23 % in food waste quantities produced.
During the European Week for Waste Reduction, 25 Eurest restaurants and 2 coffee shops in 15 different locations in Sweden weighed and measured the waste resulting from food preparation and made available this information to staff and guests.
Food Waste Recycling Partnership Scheme
Separate collection of food waste
In order to promote good food waste management practice and to gain experience on food waste source separation and recycling, EPD launched the ‘’Food Waste Recycling Partnership Scheme’’ together with commercial & industrial (C&I) sectors in 2009. A Working Group comprising representatives from the Government and the C&I sectors has been set up in Dec 2009 to plan and manage the operation of the Scheme.
During the operation of the ‘Food Waste Recycling Partnership Scheme’, participants practised food waste source separation and placed the separated food waste in the designated collection bins provided by EPD at the assigned collection points for collection by EPD to the KBPCP for recycling. EPD was responsible for cleaning the collection bins.
Hospitality and restaurant sector players in Denmark formed a partnership, using state and EU Fisheries Fund, to develop an Omega 3 rich fish chip product from otherwise inedible fish waste. As of the end of 2009, the team was in the final stages and testing, haying already negotiated agreements with manufacturers and buyers. While concrete results are not yet available, given that over 50% of fish is discarded as inedible waste in Denmark, according to a 2010 CHI1 study, this is an excellent use for a product that would otherwise be food waste.
Food and Drink Federation’s Five - fold Environmental Ambition
The Food and Drink Federation’s Five—fold Environmental Ambition started with member commitments to play a role in tackling climate change by reducing CO; emissions by 20% by 2010 against a 1990 baseline, sending zero food and packaging waste to landfill from 2015, making significant reductions in levels of packaging reaching households in line with WRAP’s Courtauld Commitment, embedding environmental standards into food transport practices and reducing overall transportation and reducing waste use.
The association has already made progress on the waste portion of the Ambition, to send zero food and packaging waste to landfill from 2015. Members established baselines from their 2006 waste volumes and have since this initial reporting prevented more than half a million tonnes of food waste from being created. The project has also included a joint initiative with WRAP to carry out waste prevention reviews at thirteen member company sites across the UK, working closely with FareShare, to encourage member food redistribution and encouraging members to sign up for the original Courtauld Commitment which seeks to reduce domestic food waste by 155,000 tonnes by 2010 as compared to 2008.
Personal Carbon Allowances White Paper
Research on consumer preference
The Carbon Trust is a world-leading organisation helping businesses, governments and the public sector to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy through carbon reduction, energy-saving strategies and commercialising low carbon technologies.
The White Paper explores the concept of Personal Carbon Allowances - investigating how it could work in practice, reviewing what a personal carbon allowance would include, and looking at how big a personal carbon allowance should be. It includes learning's and feedback from a four-week consumer trial in Great Britain which set a personal carbon allowance of 20Kg CO2 per day.
The White Paper also explores the increasingly important role that business and brands have to play in driving awareness of sustainability and investigates whether personal carbon allowances could help consumers to understand how the carbon footprint of specific products and services relate to a total daily allowance. Providing easy-to-understand environmental information in a credible and relevant way is a significant challenge, but also an exciting opportunity.
Reducing the environmental impacts of food
Save Food from the Fridge
Information and Education
This project is about traditional oral knowledge which has been accumulated from experience and transmitted by mouth to mouth. Particularly focusing on the food preservation, it looks at a feasible way of bringing that knowledge into everyday life.
Presented design looks at re-introducing and re-evaluating traditional oral knowledge of food, which is closer to nature. Through the objects of everyday life, design can introduce traditional oral knowledge into people’s lives through their experience of using it. These Dutch "ancient wisdoms" is now coming within a book and in the self-designed food storage containers for consumers.
Sodexho Campus Food Waste
Sodexo employees at eight college campuses cut kitchen waste by about one third, simply by tracking and monitoring food waste, according to the preliminary findings from the first eight weeks of a pilot study that is part of the company's commitment to stop wasting food to curb climate change and improve business practices.
Sodexo is partnering with LeanPath, a technology company providing food waste tracking systems, to conduct the review. The pilot study focuses on kitchen - or pre-consumer - waste, not what customers throw out. The pilot study system features a tracking station where Sodexo employees enter data about what they are throwing out and why. By tracking the reason for throwing away items, Sodexo is able to correct the problem to prevent future food waste. Sodexo employees at those eight sites have dramatically reduced overproduction, spoilage, expiration and trimmings by participating in the pilot study.
In September Sodexo launched "Stop Wasting Food," a campaign to engage its customers and employees in reducing food waste to curb climate change. To learn more, visit www.stopwastingfood.org.
Tesco 'Buy One Get One Free Later'
As part of their pledge to not send any waste to landfill this year and specifically to target food waste reduction, grocery retailer Tesco launched a ‘Buy One Get One Free Later’ initiative to allow customers buying perishable goods to collect their free item the following week. Under the offers, consumers will be able to postpone getting their free second promotional product until a later shopping trip. The programme works through a voucher system; products included in the initiative are those which are considered "short-code life-perishable products” with short sell dates such as yoghurts, salads, vegetables and cheese. The initiative does not include products with longer sell dates such as cans of beans and pasta sauce.
Packaging supply chain collaboration in food waste reduction
Packaging is part of the solution to tackle food waste. Packaging prevents food spoilage, ensures food quality and safety along the supply chain and at home, informs consumers on how to use and store packaged food products, increases shelf-life and provides portion sizes answering the multiple needs of consumer lifestyles and demographic changes.
Packaging innovation and new technologies play a key role in food waste prevention. The packaging supply chain, represented by EUROPEN*, strives to further innovate and develop new technologies that make packaging more active and intelligent in tackling food waste. As part of these efforts and to encourage continuous improvements by the packaging supply chain, EUROPEN set up a dedicated task force on ‘Food Waste’ and developed best practice examples of packaging innovations and technologies that help prevent food waste. These examples can be viewed in the attached document.
* - EUROPEN represents the packaging supply chain on issues related to packaging and the environment.
Slow Food Chefs' Alliance
Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity
The chefs involved in the Alliance initiative embrace the Slow Food philosophy, choosing local ingredients, respecting seasonality and working directly with small-scale producers, getting to know them and promoting their products. The close link between farmers and chefs ensures timely delivery of products and thereby avoid post-production losses.
Slow Food Presidia
Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity
Presidia are groups of small scale producers who safeguard native breeds and local plant varieties, engage in quality production at risk of extinction, protect unique regions and ecosystems, recover traditional processing methods. There are more than 250 Slow Food Presidia in Europe involving more than 1600 small-scale producers: fishers, butchers, shepherds, cheesemakers, bakers and pastry chefs. Slow Food technical support to Presidia aims to address issues relating to food processing, also to minimise production and post-production losses.
Food Waste Recovery, 1st Edition
Processing Technologies and Industrial Techniques
Food Waste Recovery: Processing Technologies and Industrial Techniques acts as a guide to recover valuable components of food by-products and recycle them inside the food chain, in an economic and sustainable way. The book investigates all the relevant recovery issues and compares different techniques to help you advance your research and develop new applications. Strong coverage of the different technologies is included, while keeping a balance between the characteristics of current conventional and emerging technologies. This is an essential reference for research outcomes.
Food technologists, researchers, scientists, engineers, professionals and students working or studying in food and by-products processing area