Understanding and Avoiding Food Waste

REFRESH was an EU research project taking action against food waste*. Twenty six partners from China and 12 European countries worked together towards Sustainable Development Goal 12.3. The objective of SDG 12.3 is to halve per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level while minimising food losses along production and supply chains, reducing waste management costs, and maximising the value from un-avoidable food waste and packaging materials.

REFRESH focused 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 supported better decision-making by industry and individual consumers. The project took an innovative systemic approach to curb food waste through a holistic “Framework for Action”. REFRESH built on existing initiatives to develop, evaluate, and ensure the spread of social, technological, and organisational insights and practices related to food waste. This is underpinned by guidance to legislators and policy makers to help support effective governance to tackle food waste.

The CSCP was responsible for the implementation of REFRESH in Germany and was active in two work packages:

1) Qualitative research with respect to consumer understanding of food waste: Six to eight focus groups were held and moderated by the CSCP. Results from Germany were complemented by the results from other countries engaged in REFRESH in order to identify synergies and differences (Hungary, Spain, and the Netherlands).

2) A German roadmap to reduce and avoid food waste: A group of 15 organisations from business, civil society, science, and politics worked together to create and negotiate this document.

*REFRESH was funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union.