FoodLoops: Supporting Circular Food Systems in Schools

Currently, 59 million tonnes of food are thrown away each year in the European Union according to the Eurostat. Food waste and loss take place at many stages of the value chain, including a large share at the consumption stage. Our project FoodLoops, launched in September 2023, aims to support circular food systems in schools by reducing waste and improving the organic waste cycle.

The project will empower municipalities, educators and caterers to improve their biowaste separation at its source (e.g., in school canteens and kitchens). Moreover, FoodLoops will guide these actors to collaborate in developing solutions that turn unavoidable (food) waste into products of value, such as organic compost. Further, the project intends to engage potential markets for these value-added products, such as local organic farmers.

Stakeholder engagement formats will be utilised to bring together local actors to find solutions for biowaste management and recycling in schools. Namely, the project will develop a common biowaste strategy in the setting of school canteens and kitchens for selected scenarios in Lithuania, Poland and Finland.

“At the CSCP, we are responsible for coordinating and supporting local partners in conducting stakeholder engagement workshops in order to achieve active collaboration toward shared objectives. In turn, the partners will steer the local stakeholder engagement process from which pilot actions and cooperations between the target groups will arise. For instance, this could include school administrators and organic farmers associations co-creating a concrete plan to turn canteen food waste into compost for local farms.”, says Daniela Chaves, CSCP Project Manager.

In the second year of the project, the CSCP will lead national replication workshops, which aim to apply and disseminate the results and methodology within Poland, Lithuania and Finland and to further countries in the Baltic Sea Region.

At a first event held in September 2023, the project already brought together local actors from the Baltic Sea region to exchange best practices and set the first step toward building a network of experts on the topic.

The project is supported by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme and will run for two years (2023-2025). FoodLoops is implemented by the CSCP and three other project partners: Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Finland, the Municipality of Gdánsk, Poland, and the Lithuanian Consumer Institute, Lithuania.

For further information, please contact Daniela Chaves.

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash.