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Food Use for Social Innovation by Optimising waste prevention Strategies

Final Report Summary - FUSIONS (Food Use for Social Innovation by Optimising waste prevention Strategies)

Executive Summary:
From the start of FUSIONS the overall aim of the project has been to contribute significantly to the harmonisation of food waste monitoring, validate the feasibility of social innovative measures for optimised food use in the food chain and contribute to the development of a Common Food Waste Policy for EU28. To achieve this aim a structured action plan has been designed and executed, and all major milestones and deliverables have been met at the end. With a central role for the very active FUSIONS community of over 185 committed members and stakeholders. More than 1200 people attended the 19 platform meetings. Over 100 people from the 21 partners contributed to the delivery of the outputs and impacts of the project. Over 15 main deliverable reports have been published, that have been used by several stakeholders across the EU and in other parts of the globe. An impressive number of awareness raising events, over 300 external presentations and enourmous media attention connected to events, reaching over 100 million views, has contributed to an increased level of awareness among the general public and civil society across the EU28 countries.
FUSIONS published as one of the key results of the project a new estimation of food waste levels across EU-28. It was found that approx. 88 million tonnes of food intended for human consumption are lost annually along the EU supply chain. This amounts to 173 kg per person per year, the equivalent of 20 % of all food produced in the EU. About 50 % of this is household food waste.
When the FUSIONS project began in 2012, food waste data were sometimes missing, and often unreliable. The project addressed this by fitting individual EU countries’ data within a harmonised framework developed within FUSIONS. By introducing specific criteria, the project developed a standard methodological approach. The framework includes a definition to enable the tracing of food waste, including inedible components, throughout the value chain from farm to fork. The framework was translated into a Quantification manual to support EU Member States in establishing more reliable monitoring and reporting of national food waste data at each stage in the food supply chain. The Food Waste Quantification Manual can be used as a reference by researchers and Member State authorities to develop coherent methods for acquiring food waste data in order to fill in data gaps more effectively.
Through seven ‘social innovation’ feasibility studies, FUSIONS also showed how successful initiatives to reduce food waste could be upscaled and replicated in different locations across EU-28, to help reduce the environmental and social impact of food waste. The actions involved an EU gleaning network (picks fruit and vegetables not harvested by farmers), children’s education programmes in Greece, new ways to organise food redistribution from food services in Hungary, making jam and soups from surplus produce, and a Danish IT service connecting local organisations with businesses that have surplus food to offer.
The relevant knowledge gained during the project has been collated in policy guidelines targeting both EU and national policy makers. Some FUSIONS findings – for example those on the role of harmonised food waste monitoring for business engagement and on making food distribution easie – have already been taken up by the European Commission.

The FUSIONS model and way of working has been used as a major reference and partly replicated in other countries outside the EU, showing that the model and approach is a mechanism for tackling food waste in early stages of maturity. By being a co-creator in the development of the global Food Loss & Waste Accounting and Reporting Standard, FUSIONS has contributed to setting global standards, with the new SDG12.3 target as a common aim for a growing number of stakeholders across the world. The ministers of Agriculture of the EU also stresses the this need in the recently adopted EU council conclusions on food on 26 June 2016, including multiple references to FUSIONS outcomes and recommendations.

Project Context and Objectives:
Food waste is an issue of importance to global food security and good environmental governance, directly linked with environmental, economic and social impacts. Up to 1/3rd – ½ of the world food production is not consumed, leading to negative impacts throughout the food supply chain and households. There is a pressing need to prevent and reduce food waste to make the transition to a resource efficient Europe.
FUSIONS (Food Use for Social Innovation by Optimising waste prevention Strategies) will contribute to achieving a Resource Efficient Europe by significantly reducing food waste. It will achieve this through a comprehensive and experienced European partnership covering all key actors across the food supply chain, including regulatory, business, NGOs and knowledge institutes, all with strong links to consumer organisations. FUSIONS will establish a tiered European multi-stakeholder Platform to generate a shared vision and strategy to prevent food loss and reduce food waste across the supply chain through social innovation: new ideas (products, services and models) that simultaneously meet social needs (more effectively than alternatives) and create new social relationships or collaborations.

The overall aim of the project is to contribute significantly to the harmonisation of food waste
monitoring, feasibility of social innovative measures for optimised food use in the food chain and the
development of a Common Food Waste Policy for EU28.

Our main instruments to achieve this are (1) stimulating communication and discussion between
multiple stakeholders in the food chain regarding socially innovative solutions for optimised food use
on science and practice based evidence; and (2) enabling analysis of long term trends in food waste
management, by a better understanding, and availability, of food waste data and greater integration
of stakeholders and activities from across the EU and the candidate countries.

To achieve the overarching aims, FUSIONS will target the following specific objectives:
• To obtain reliable data and information sources and developing criteria for food waste monitoring to enable assessment of food waste quantities and trends in food waste prevention and reduction within EU 28 (WP1).
• To comprehensively map and model existing trends relevant to social innovations in the food chain, both from a knowledge based perspective (e.g. research & technology trends, processes and business models, consumer and lifestyle trends) (WP1).
• To establish appropriate multi-stakeholder platforms on European, regional and national levels based on existing and new infrastructures, to facilitate discussion between key stakeholders in the food chain, to build consensus and to develop recommendations on monitoring practice and social innovative measures for food waste prevention and reduction (WP2).
• To contribute to policymaking at European and national levels, addressing socially innovative solutions for optimised food use, including the development of a Common Food Waste Policy for EU28 (WP3).
• To identify solutions throughout the food chain to reduce food waste and to test via feasibility studies socially innovative measures to prevent and reduce food waste using a multi-stakeholder approach within all stages of the food chain (WP4).
• To disseminate knowledge and increase awareness among food chain stakeholders and policy makers on the economic, environmental and social impact of food waste, and opportunities for its prevention and reduction through social innovation, by facilitating sharing of best practices across EU28, provide tools to enable relevant stakeholders to be involved, and position the EU as a global leader on food waste prevention (WP5).

Project Results:
WP1 on Quantification
Objective 1.1 Establishing a standard approach on system boundaries and definitions of food waste to improve its quantification of across the EU28
A standard approach on system boundaries and definitions of food waste to improve its quantification of across the EU28 has been developed and is provided though FUSIONS technical framework for defining food waste (D1.1)

The FUSIONS technical framework is based on a systematic approach and careful considerations of previous work as well as through a series of consultation processes. The technical framework is based on the following definitions:

Food – “Food means any substance or product, whether processed, partially processed or unprocessed, intended to be, or reasonably expected to be consumed by humans. Food includes drink, chewing gum and any substance, including water, intentionally incorporated into food during its manufacture, preparation or treatment” . As inedible parts of food are excluded from this definition, they have been separately brought out, and included in the framework.
Food supply chain – The food supply chain is the connected series of activities used to produce, process, distribute and consume food. The food supply chain starts when the raw materials for food are ready to enter the economic and technical system for food production or home-grown consumption (A2, Figure 2). This is a key distinction in that any products ready for harvest or slaughter being removed are within scope, not just those that are harvested and subsequently not used. The food supply chain ends when the food is consumed (A5) or “removed” (Section B) from the chain.
Food waste – Food waste (Section B-iii) s any food, and inedible parts of food, removed from the food supply chain to be recovered or disposed, including the following destinations: composting, crops ploughed in/not harvested, anaerobic digestion, bio-energy production, co-generation, incineration, disposal to sewer, landfill or discarded to sea but not including food or inedible parts of food removed from the food supply chain to be sent to animal feed or bio-based material/chemistry processing.(Section B-i)
Packaging is not included in the food waste definition and shall not be taken into account in the food waste quantification.
The numbering in the technical framework provides a unique codification of the resource flows in the food supply chain according to their production and use. If this system is used consistently, it will lead to a clear understanding of where food waste arises in the supply chain and how it is being managed. Over time, such estimates will indicate trends by which the effectiveness of waste prevention strategies can be measured.

Objective 1.2 Developing, testing and describing standardised reporting methodologies to improve quantification of food waste across the EU28 and to provide definitional clarity and consistency of reporting across different stages of the food chain
To develop, test and provide standardised reporting methodologies to improve quantification of food waste across the EU28 a set of action were taken.
Review of EUROSTAT reporting methodology: A review was carried out including a review of the background work on the food waste plug in initiative as well as a review of quality reports on waste statistics made available by EUROSTAT. This evaluation of the Eurostat system has showed that there are formal and methodological elements that make it difficult to use the statistics for generating reliable food waste statistics to be used for creating reliable time series. Firstly there are no common methodologies prescribed for gathering waste data nationally. Secondly, the waste categories defined in EWC-Stat are on a highly aggregated level and contain various amounts of waste that are not directly related to the food sector which makes it difficult to sort out relevant food waste data. Thirdly, to cover food waste, it is thus necessary to make the categorization more detailed in national statistics, and this should also be distinguished clearly between different subcategories of food waste. The review is reported in "D1.2 Review of EUROSTAT reporting method and statistics"
Literature review on methodologies: A literature review has been carried out on methodologies for collecting food waste data from the whole food chain. Studies that are most relevant for methodological aspects in each part of the food chain were selected and a semi-quantitative survey of methodological choices and approaches was carried out. The key studies (3-5) in each step with detailed descriptions of methodologies for data gathering, analyses and reporting of food waste primary data were identified to serve as the basis for description of methodologies on a more general basis. The conclusions from the review are reported in. "D1.3 Report on review of (food) waste reporting methodology and practice".

Recommendations: In D1.4 Recommendations on standard approaches to be used to estimate food waste levels it is concluded that there is not one single method that can be recommended for all applications. A number of possible quantification methods that can be used. The main methods studied are: Measurement, scanning, waste composition analysis, food waste diary, questionnaires, and calculations based on existing statistics, interviews and surveys, and mass balances. Recommendations are given for each step in the value chain from primary production, processing & manufacturing, wholesale, retail and marketing, redistribution, food service and households (end users for food preparation and consumption). Some methods have mainly been used in one sector, e.g. scanning in retail, food waste composition analyses for households, direct measurements in production, whereas other are more commonly used in all areas, e.g. interviews and questionnaires.

The recommended methods are described in detail in D1.4 and pros and cons are discussed. In general, the quantification of “food waste” is an area that is matured, neither in research nor in practical application. Until more mature it is important to develop recommended approaches for better knowledge and insight in mapping of the quantity of ”food waste” and regularly evaluate and adjust to get the best possible data. For example
Tier 1 Simplest method: European average waste compositional figures are applied to national household waste amounts
Tier 2 More specific methods: National waste statistics and national composition analyses are available
Tier 3 Most detailed level: National waste statistics, several detailed waste composition analysis and supporting studies are available.

In addition to these recommendations the Food Loss & Waste Protocol (WRI 2016) is recommended as a first choice. The protocol was published 2016 and the FUSIONS Food waste quantification Manual to monitor food waste amounts and progression (D1.7) are carefully aligned and complementary.

Objective 1.3 Comprehensively mapping existing trends in relation to food waste prevention and reduction, relevant to social innovation in the food chain, (e.g. research & tech¬nology trends, food chain management trends, and consumer and lifestyle trends)

This objective has been achieved through a systematic inventory of drivers also exploring the current food waste causes, the threats of increase and the possibilities for reduction in the future, which recorded a total of nearly 600 items. The qualitative analysis identified close to 300 food waste drivers, which witness a wide and multifaceted problem, involving deeply and in very intricate ways all the segments of the food supply chain, from primary production in farms, up to final consumption in food services and households.
If considering the food supply chain as a whole, there are not one or few main determinants clearly definable for food waste that come into sight, rather a complex pattern of extremely diversified and interconnected causes. By referring to current food waste causes, it is possible to distinguish:
• food waste related to the inherent characteristics of food products and the ways through which they are produced and consumed (e.g. perishability of food and limited predictability of supply and demand);
• food waste related to social factors and dynamics in population habits and lifestyles non-readily changeable (e.g. single-person households, young age of household members, young couples with small children, increased consumption of meals out-home, etc.);
• food waste related to individual behaviours and general expectations of consumers towards food non-readily changeable (e.g.: good aspect, freshness, possibility of acceding to broad quantities and varieties of food independently on places, seasons, and time);
• food waste related to other priorities targeted by private and public stakeholders (the possibility of generating food waste may be a minor concern with respect to other priorities of private and public stakeholders: like cost reduction, sales increase, product safety, quality standards, etc.);
• food waste related to non-use or sub-optimal use of available technologies, organisational inefficiencies of supply chain operators, inefficient legislation, and bad behaviours of consumers depending on unawareness, scarce information, and poor food skills.

The probability to modify the causes of food waste is increasing from the top to the bottom of this list. At the top, most of the potential change lays in technological innovations that ease the constraints related to intrinsic characteristics of food products and to the ways they are produced and used. At the bottom of the list, changes are potentially more feasible, since they largely depend on improvement of efficiency along the food supply chain, correct application of available technology, better organisation, more accurate policy design, and more aware consumers.

This listing of food waste causes indicates that it is unlikely that food wastage may be completely eradicated in the future, but it also suggests that a lot could be done in a relatively short term. The extreme complexity of the food supply chain does not allow easy solutions applicable to all circumstances. The causes of food waste need to be clearly identified within each single activity and process of the supply chain. It is then necessary to set very specific proceedings for monitoring food waste generation in the different chain segments and in each type of activity, and find out appropriate methods for any single situation. This will be mostly a task of individual operators: companies, researchers, campaigners, and consumers. The task of public authorities and policy makers will be to create the premises that society may undertake the necessary engagement to prevent and reduce a largely avoidable wastage of resources.
As regards the limitations of the analysis, the main constraint resulted inherent to the nature of the study. It was primarily a qualitative research and its results relate to perceptions, opinions, and judgments of the individual experts involved into the FUSIONS partnership. For these reasons the study did not aim to achieve an objectively complete identification and classification of the food waste drivers, but to collect and group -into drivers and driver categories- a wide exemplification of food waste causes, future threats and possibilities of reduction derived from the know-how of the FUSIONS network.

The full study is reported in D1.5 Drivers of current food waste generation, threats of future increase and opportunities for reduction”

Objective 1.4 Developing criteria for the assessment of socio-economic & environmental impacts of food waste and providing baseline estimates of the current social &environmental impact in EU28.

D1.6 Environmental and social impacts of food waste: methodologies and baseline assessment” provides documentation for the existing knowledge base with respect to the socio-economic and environmental impact of food waste and to provide new information on how to proceed towards socio-economic and environmental assessment of the impacts of food waste.

The impact assessment covered the following topics:
• impacts on health and nutrition of food waste
• socio-economic impacts of food waste
• social impacts from food redistribution organisations, such as food banks or social supermarkets
• environmental impacts of food waste

Along with presentation of methodology a comprehensive overview of the approaches, inventory, data gaps and recommendations is provided. In conclusion, the socio-economic and environmental assessment of food waste has shown that there are still some major data gaps for a more comprehensive assessment.
Conclusions for each of the four categories addressed are as follows:

The impact on health and nutritional factors was analysed with respect to nutrients, micronutrients and anti-nutritional factors for different parts of the food chain (production, processing, retailing, and consumption. Selected nutrients and micronutrients included vitamin A (RE), beta-carotene, vitamin C, fibre, iron, zinc, n-3 fatty acids, lysine and methionine. Nutrient losses were calculated based on food compositional data of the selected indicator products, which are apples, tomatoes, potatoes, bread, milk, beef, pork, chicken and fish. Nutrient losses in terms of human nutrient requirements were analysed and nutrient degradation was investigated on the basis of a literature review. A short overview of anti-nutritional factors for mycotoxins, glycoalkaloids, pesticide residues and other examples was furthermore given. Maximum permitted levels of concentrations for foodstuffs are given.

Socio-economic impacts of food waste
Socio-economic impacts from food loss and waste prevention and reduction are defined as the resultant changes that may occur in food markets (demand, supply, prices and trade) and welfare of various actors in the various sectors and regions. Based on this definition a comparative qualitative analysis of published studies up to date was undertaken to examine the socio-economic impacts of reducing food waste. All the studies used the FAO (2011) data on global food losses and food waste. The comparative analysis is divided into two parts. The first part discusses a set of studies that have sought to develop a theoretical framework for the economics of FLW. The second part analyses empirical studies. These studies have applied economic modelling, primarily scenario analyses to quantify the impacts of reducing global FLW on production, trade, prices and incomes. The overall conclusion is that existing literature suggests that the socio-economic impacts of FLW reduction could be substantial. All papers analysed provide relevant considerations for policy makers on levers that they may select to influence the demand and supply of commodities while reducing FLW. However, caution must be taken in deciding on the intervention to ensure coherence and considerations of the environmental dimensions while exploring current instruments that could provide the required drivers for FLW reduction. Further on it is concluded that high level considerations on the socio-economic impacts of food loss and waste need to be balanced with a value chain analysis.

Social impacts from food redistribution organisations, such as food banks or social supermarkets
The assessment of the impacts of food banks and other initiatives aimed at the food supply to marginalised social groups was carried out using the methodology of social capital. Indicators for the social capital were adapted to the special focus of food redistribution organisations. The methodology in combination with the new identified social indicators was tested via a survey among food redistribution organisations within Europe. The results showed that food redistribution can have a rather positive effect on the basic components of social capital, in particular when trust, networks, and cooperation are regarded. Less influence was perceived in terms of information and social inclusion. Obviously, given the specific focus of the initiatives, the largest effect was registered on the food security and safety aspects. The adaptation of the World Bank methodology and the use of the six dimensions have provided stimulating insights and a reference for this assessment despite the limitations of the current study. (e.g. lack of personal interviews, necessity of a periodic repetition). A recommendation would be to carry out a survey with different typologies and larger amounts of food redistribution activities so to allow an adequate analysis of results in homogeneous contexts (e.g. State, region, local level).

In the environmental assessment the methodology of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was applied. The functional unit used was 1 kg of consumed food. Two approaches were tested: Bottom-up approach, starting from specific indicator products and ending with an extrapolation of results, and top-down approach, starting from greenhouse gas emissions on aggregated level over certain steps of the food supply chain and ending at results for emissions related to the total consumed and wasted food. The Global Warming Potential (GWP) was calculated for a set of indicator products (apples, potatoes, tomatoes, bread, milk, beef, pork, chicken and fish,). In the bottom-up approach the acidification and eutrophication potential was also looked at in order to prevent a shift of burdens. Both approaches show a result of around 3.2 kg CO2-Equivalents per kg consumed food.
Food waste related emissions were found to be 15% from the total emissions of the food supply chain in the bottom-up approach and 21% in the top-down approach, excluding the conversion and valorisation step of food and inedible parts removed from the supply chain. The top-down approach allows for repetition, but the bottom-up approach shows detailed data which enhances setting the right waste prevention measures. Therefore the choice of the approaches is dependent on the objective of the assessment. For a European data pool it can be recommended that average emissions factors for specific product groups are established under consideration of other indicator products as well as harmonized transport and consumer habits (e.g. cooking).

Objective 1.5 Establishing a Food Waste Quantification Manual enabling assessment of food waste amounts and measuring progress in food waste prevention and reduction within EU28.
The FUSIONS Food waste quantification manual to monitor food waste amounts and progression provides practical guidelines for Member States on the quantification of food waste at different stages of the supply chain and is a major outcome of FUSIONS.
These guidelines provided cover three main activities:
• Quantifying food waste in each sector (i.e. stage) of the food chain;
• Combining sectorial quantifications using a common framework at national level; and,
• Reporting the results of the national food waste quantification study at country level in a consistent and comparable manner.

The Manual is aimed principally at the Member State authorities. Its goal is to support them in developing coherent methods for acquiring national food waste data covering all sectors of the food chain. It can also be used as a reference by researchers collecting data on behalf of national authorities as well as national statistical offices.
The guidelines presented in this Manual build on previous FUSIONS reports: “FUSIONS Definitional Framework for Food Waste” (FUSIONS, 2014), “Standard approach on quantitative techniques to be used to estimate food waste levels” (FUSIONS, 2014) and the partners own experience and knowledge. The Manual has been developed in close collaboration with the team of experts contributing to the global Food Loss & Waste (FLW) Accounting and Reporting Standard (FLW Protocol, 2016). Although, the Manual is not in itself an operating procedure for on-site quantification of food waste (in e.g. farms, factories or restaurants), it does highlight for each sector certain quantification methodologies found to be suitable. These quantification methodologies are in harmony with the FLW Protocol approach. The Manual has been produced through an extensive consultation process with MS experts and stakeholders and has benefitted from the practical experience of pilot programmes carried out in six EU MS and Norway.
The Manual begins with a presentation of key terms and subsequently provides a definition of food waste and a national approach to quantification. Finally, it details the approach for each sector of the food supply chain.
On 28 June 2016 the European Council adopted conclusions setting out a series of initiatives to reduce food waste and losses in the future. The Council acknowledged FUSIONS work and welcomed FUSIONS outcomes such as the Food Waste Quantification Manual.

Objective 1.6 Assessing current EU28 food waste arisings using a combination of national waste statistics and outputs from selected research findings to improve the understanding of present patterns and causes of food waste.

D1.8 Report on estimates of European food waste levels and analysis of food waste drivers provides the most current estimates for food waste arising in the EU-28. The estimates have been obtained using a combination of national waste statistics and findings from selected research studies. The data were collected from contacts within EU Member States (MS). The data obtained were then filtered according to quality thresholds in order to ensure that retained data were aligned to the FUSIONS food waste definition and used a robust methodology. Where there were gaps for individual MS these were filled in, using processes described in the sections relating to each sector:
• Primary production
• Processing
• Wholesale and logistics combined with retail and markets
• Food service
• Household

The collection and analysis of data from across Europe for this study generated an estimate of food waste in the EU-28 of 88 million tonnes. This estimate is for 2012 and includes both edible food and inedible parts associated with food. This equates to 173 kilograms of food waste per person in the EU-28. The total amounts of food produced in EU for 2011 were around 865 kg / person, this would mean that in total we are wasting 20 % of the total food produced. In comparison with previously performed studies the results differ due to the various definitions used, sectors included etc.
The sectors contributing the most to food waste are households (47 million tonnes ± 4 million tonnes) and processing (17 million tonnes ± 13 million tonnes). These two sectors account for 72 percent of EU food waste, although there is considerable uncertainty around the estimate for the processing sector compared to all the other sectors. This is due to only four MS providing information of sufficiently high quality. In addition the differences in the normalized food waste amounts between the countries were great. Of the remaining 28 percent of food waste 11 million tonnes (12%) comes from food service, 9 million tonnes (10%) comes from primary production and 5 million tonnes
The costs associated with food waste for EU-28 in 2012 are estimated at around 143 billion euros. Two-thirds of the costs are associated with food waste from households (around 98 billion euros). This is due to households a) having more edible food waste than any other sector and b) the costs associated with a tonne of food accumulating along the supply chain (e.g. processing, packaging, retailing costs).
There is moderately high uncertainty around this estimate of food waste amounts; the approximate 95% confidence interval is ±14 million tonnes (or ±16%). Therefore, the range of results within this confidence interval is from 74 million tonnes to 101 million tonnes. Regarding the different sectors the uncertainty varies, and it needs to be acknowledged that data might change significantly as more studies will be carried out. The level of uncertainty seen in the results is due to only a small number of recent studies of sufficiently high quality being identified. Therefore, a key recommendation from this exercise for accurately quantifying food waste in Europe is to increase the number of EU MS that measure food waste robustly. This will be necessary if there is an EU food waste target that requires monitoring. This recommendation applies to all sectors; however, the lack of data was particularly acute for the processing sector as well as the primary production sector – there are very few measurements of waste in agriculture, horticulture, aquaculture, fisheries or other primary production activities and wide differences in the definition of food waste within this sector. A more reliable reporting can be achieved by ensuring that those studies that do take place use a consistent definition of food waste
WP2 on European Multi-stakeholder Platform
The main objectives of WP2 are to establish appropriate multi-stakeholder platforms on European, regional
and national levels based on existing and new infrastructures, to facilitate discussion between key stakeholders in the food chain, to build consensus and to develop recommendations on monitoring practice and socially innovative measures for food waste prevention and reduction, by:

Objective 2.1 Establish European FUSIONS Multi-stakeholder Platform with an appropriate tiered platform management structure, that enables it to last beyond the project timeframe.

This objective has been achieved through an stakeholders inventory, and the establishment of the European Multi-stakeholder Platform through the commitment of Member organisations.

Objective 2.2 Organise a feedback and consensus building process to exchange ideas and suggestions to reduce food waste, and receive input from all other WPs and maximise output to the other WPs. This will incorporate supporting, and facilitating the growth of existing platforms, to encourage the establishment of new regional infrastructure.

This objective has been achieved by organizing the feedback and consultation features of the Platform, through the organization of European and regional platform meeting during the project’s runtime.
The FUSIONS European Multi-stakeholder Platform (EMP) is a voluntary, member-based consultation and networking function created at the heart of the FUSIONS project. It main objective was to facilitate discussion between key stakeholders in the food supply chain, to build consensus and to develop recommendations for the EC. Guided by the main consultation topics of Quantification of food waste, Social Innovation for prevention and reduction and Food Waste Policy, which represent the core work of the FUSIONS project, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research coordinated the EPM activities. These include the inventory of stakeholders, establishment of the EMP with an appropriate tiered management sturcutre and to organise platform meetings at regional and European level to facilitate and encourage the exchange of knowledge, ideas, best practices to reduce food waste.
In total, 185 organisations became voluntary member to the FUSIONS EMP, upon signing a Letter of Interest. With this LoI, the Members were committed to:
1. Participating actively in FUSIONS Platform activities, to improve cooperation to reduce food waste in the food supply chain.
2. Contributing to knowledge and experience sharing within the Platform.
3. Giving the project visibility in your networks and contributing actively in dissemination activities.
4. Identifying and support pilot projects for food use optimization through waste prevention strategies.
The Members represent a varied group of key stakeholders across sectors and associated organisations including consumer organisations, food processing industry, consultancy, governmental institutions, knowledge institutions, network organisations, NGOs, OEMs, food services, restaurants, packaging, retail, trade associations across the food chain and waste management.
Country of origin of the FUSIONS EMP Members
ID Country # Members ID Country # Members
1 Austria 3 14 Netherlands 15
2 Belgium 13 15 Norway 2
3 Bulgaria 1 16 Poland 1
4 Czech Republic 3 17 Portugal 4
5 Denmark 4 18 Russia 1
6 Estonia 1 19 Slovenia 2
7 Finland 11 20 Spain 5
8 France 3 21 Sweden 20
9 Germany 14 22 Switzerland 4
10 Greece 14 23 Thailand 1
11 Hungary 5 24 Turkey 2
12 Ireland 2 25 UK 17
13 Italy 36 26 USA 2

In total 19 FUSIONS EMP meeting were organised, 3 European level (led by Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, in Wageningen and 2x Brussels) and 16 in the regions of Nordic/Scandinavia (led by LUKE, Finland, in Helsinki, Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen), Northwest Europe (led by Deloitte Sustainability, France, in 2x Paris, London and Amsterdam), Central Europe (Led by University of Hohenheim, in Hohenheim, Düsseldorf, Budapest and Vienna) and Southern Europe (led by Last Minute Market, Italy and Anatoliki Development Agency of Thessaloniki, Greece, in Padua, Athens, Bologna and Thessaloniki). Almost 1200 external participants have attended the meetings, creating a vast outreach in the food supply chain and food waste prevention/reduction networks across Europe. At the final EPM, the EC Commissioner Health & Food Safety delivered a videoed key note speech on the successful outcomes of FUSIONS and the importance of the uptake of the Project’s results in the new Circular Economy Package and the action plan on food waste ( and ). The European Council also voiced the relevance of the FUSIONS outcomes in its 3479th meeting on 28 June 2016.
Evaluating the meetings on the pivotal contribution to achieve the FUSIONS objectives, the following conclusions can be made:
The European Multi-stakeholder Platform as approach is a proven sound way to
- Attract and involve interested stakeholders from the entire food supply chain, to provide them with a platform to meet and exchange ideas, best practices and knowledge on social innovation and food waste prevention/reduction
- Involve key stakeholders, with a sound reputation and influence in the field, which allows for interesting, high-level key notes during the regional and European meetings of the EPM.
- The added value of membership is embedded in a increased commitment, active involvement in knowledge sharing and consultation processes. Membership was voluntary and free of charge, not coercible, but did present the members with a sensed feeling of obligation.
- Organize targeted and focused consultations for input and consensus building on specific issues and topics within food waste prevention, under condition of well-prepared, clearly scoped exercises. It is important to bear in mind that participants to the consultation are often at another level of knowledge or framework of thinking than the organizers of the consultation. Creating a common understanding for the joint consultation topics and with respect for other interests and viewpoints are key for a successful consultation. Consultations were designed to investigate options for interventions to support food waste prevention and reduction, and were targeted within FUSIONS at:
➢ defining food waste / definitional framework to scope destinations and boundaries;
➢ creating the food waste quantification manual;
➢ inspire, share and investigate replication ability of innovative pilots;
➢ sharing of experiences to spark the uptake on larger scale;
➢ inventory and analysis of EC and MS-level legislation influencing food waste generation and reduction;
➢ scenario analyses to evaluate ex-ante potential food waste reduction measures from a governmental instrument perspective;
➢ developing guidelines for recommendations towards the EC level, based on the findings of the FUSIONS project.
- Consultation sessions that have a duration between 1,5 – 3 hours are a suitable opportunity to cover viewpoints and discuss commonalities across stakeholders’ interests and ideas. These findings were welcomed and integrated in the deliverables produced within the Project. The WP-leaders used the findings from the EPM consultations in the fine-tuning of research findings, thereby creating a widespread result.
- Consultation is not synonymous to compromise in favour of certain political or commercial interests: FUSIONS as a Project cannot function as a decision maker or to increase/advocate the acceptance of a certain stakeholder’s interest or viewpoint. That was also not the objective of the Project.
- Sharing knowledge on policy measures and best practices (through innovative pilots from the Project and the EPM Members)
- Create large impact and outreach for dissemination of the FUSIONS results and the progress made by EPM members across the EU and abroad, by actively communicating the content and results of the Project.
- The “legacy” of FUSIONS: the EPM is not the only platform in existence on the food waste topic. There are other initiatives also within the Circular Economy Package including the DG Santé led European Platform, or globally the Champions 12.3 and FAO’s Save Food Initiative. The membership, targeted consultation and open meetings were central and pivotal to the successful outcomes of FUSIONS. The experiences from the project should be exemplary for new and existing platforms to increase their effectiveness and outreach. With the Project’s ending in July 2016, the EPM formally ceases to exist, but the newly created infrastructures and networks will continue on. More people know each other and can find each other than before. The learning and network of the Platform will continue through new initiatives and follow up projects, including the H2020 REFRESH project (

WP3 on Policy

Objective 3.1 Comprehensively mapping and analysing the current legislation and policies which impact on the creation of food waste in the EU/EEA countries and evaluating the main trends of food waste generation.

Inventory of EU legislation and policies impacting on food waste
53 EU legislative acts impacting on food waste have been identified:
- 29 Regulations.
- 10 Directives.
- 3 Decisions.
- 10 Communications.
- 1 Parliament Resolution. This is not an EU legislative act, but it has been included in the inventory because its content is relevant to any policy or strategy against food waste.

Table. EU legislative acts impacting on food waste
N° Legislative act N° Legislative act

1 COM (2014) 398 final 28 Reg n° 589/2008
2 COM (2014) 397 final 29 COM (2007) 136 final
3 COM (2013) 260 final 30 Reg n° 832/2007
4 Reg n° 56/2013 31 Dir 2006/112/EC
5 Reg n° 1308/2013 32 Reg n° 1664/2006
6 Reg n° 1380/2013 33 Reg n° 1881/2006
7 Dec n° 1386/2013/EU 34 COM (2005) 666 final
8 COM (2012) 60 35 Reg n° 1/2005
9 Reg n° 43/2012 36 Reg n° 183/2005
10 Reg n° 44/2012 37 Dir 2004/12/EC
11 European Parliament Resolution 2011/2175 (INI) 38 Reg n° 852/2004
12 COM (2011) 571 final 39 Reg n° 853/2004
13 Reg n° 142/2011 40 Reg n° 882/2004
14 Reg n° 543/2011 41 COM (2003) 301 final
15 Reg n° 1169/2011 42 Dir 2002/99/EC
16 COM (2010) 235 final 43 Reg n° 178/2002
17 Dir 2010/75/EU 44 Reg n° 2150/2002
18 COM (2010) 384 45 Reg n° 999/2001
19 Reg n° 849/2010 46 Reg n° 1639/2001
20 Dec n° 2009/564/EC 47 Dir 2000/29/EC
21 Dec n° 2009/578/EC 48 Dir 1999/31/EC
22 Dir 2009/28/EC 49 Reg n° 850/1998
23 Reg n° 43/2009 50 Reg n° 258/1997
24 Reg n° 129/2009 51 Dir 94/62/EC
25 Reg n° 163/2009 52 Reg n° 315/1993
26 Reg n° 1069/2009 53 Dir 85/374/EEC
27 Dir 2008/98/EC

Type of implication
The potential implications of inventoried EU legislation have been grouped in five clusters: implying Food Waste Generation, implying Food Waste Management, implying Food Waste Reduction, implying Food Use Optimization, and more than one implication.

Policy areas
Fifty-two legislative acts with implications for food waste have been issued and applied within seven of the twenty areas (Chapters) covered by EU legislation and policies.
In addition to these broad policy areas, more specific topics and policy measures regarding food waste have been identified.

The Review of current EU Member States legislation and policies addressing food waste has been developed through a two rounds “on-line consultation”. The consultation aimed at collecting information from European Countries regarding their current situation in terms of regulations and policies addressing food waste prevention and reduction.

Country reports have been produced and uploaded on the FUSIONS website for the 13 FUSIONS consortium countries plus Belgium, Ireland, Slovak Republic and Spain.

Each country report is organized in 8 policy sections:
o national strategies on food waste prevention
o market based instruments
o regulatory schemes
o voluntary agreements
o technical reports
o communications and campaigns
o projects and other measures
o food waste policy mix

Country reports can be found online at:

The aim of the Scenario Analysis is to identify and analyse - through a comparative assessment of selected scenarios - targeted policy interventions addressing specific food waste drivers to evaluate food waste reduction opportunities in Europe in light of the 50% food waste reduction by 2030 at retail and consumer level as foreseen by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

To ensure the consistency of this exercise, prevent broader generalization and limit the number of potential variables influencing the scenarios, two specific settings were identified:
Setting A. Food donation and redistribution in a context of social innovation; and
Setting B. Multi-target approach towards reducing food waste.

For each of two settings a preliminary identification of the relevant food waste drivers was carried out. The identification of the drivers represented the theoretical background to develop the different scenarios and determine their boundaries.

Setting A: Food donation and redistribution in a context of social innovation
Within the setting Food donation and redistribution activities in a context of Social Innovation identified drivers include:
1. lack of economic incentives to donate;
2. food safety, liability issues and labelling for food durability;
3. redistribution capacity and costs.
On the basis of these drivers three scenarios were identified and developed.

Table: Scenarios for Food donation and redistribution activities in a context of social innovation
Scenarios Summary of hypotheses - Food donation/redistribution in a context of social innovation
Business as usual No significant changes in the food waste policy with respect to the present day situation. The BaU scenario reflects a future in which major socio-economic drivers follow current trends and assumes that there are no major policy changes.
Supportive legislation This scenario assumes that further policies will be implemented to support food donation/redistribution activities with a strong focus on policies implementations directed to changes in current legislations hampering food donation/redistribution. In this case it is assumed that the required infrastructure to facilitate donation/redistribution (e.g. logistics, capacity, supply and demand) will be developed by businesses and market forces if they are obliged to adopt new regulations.
Supportive infrastructure
This scenario assumes that further policies will be implemented to support food donation/redistribution activities with a strong focus on building infrastructure to facilitate donation/redistribution by means of capacity building activities and engaging business sector using different market based instruments/incentives.

Setting B: A Multi-target approach towards reducing food waste
Within the setting Multi-target approach towards reducing food waste identified drivers include:
1. (lack of) food waste quantification across the food supply chain;
2. (confusion related to) date marking and food labelling;
3. (lack of guidance on) food waste valorisation solutions.
On the basis of these drivers three scenarios were identified and developed.

Table. Scenarios for Multi-target approach towards reducing food waste
Summary of hypotheses – Multi-target approach towards reducing food waste
Business as usual No significant changes in the food waste policy with respect to the present day situation. The BaU scenario reflects a future in which major socio-economic drivers follow current trends and assumes that there are no major policy changes.
Increased food waste quantification in EU-28 Member States and actors across the food chain increase their efforts in quantifying food waste at the most optimized level.
Clarification and simplification of “date marking” A better understanding of date marking on the consumer level would be enhanced by joint efforts from relevant actors, including food producers, and national regulatory authorities.
Guidance on valorisation solutions More science-based research will support food chain actors to recover food waste at the highest possible level.

The scenario analysis lead to the identification of a set of emerging issues to be considered for the development of potential recommendations:
• Very strong incentives for donation may cause actors to decrease other food waste prevention efforts (efforts to decrease food waste generation in the first place). Besides, strong regulations to decrease food waste in the chain via regulations, may rise other problems such as that edible food may be used not for donation purposes, but for feed or composting. Hereby it is important to ensure that policy interventions consider the food hierarchy.
• The revision of policy and legislations supporting food donation and redistribution activities should be based on an extended dialogue among different policy domains: environment, economy, poverty, health etc. A better coordination would reduce the risk of irreversible effects and perverse subsidies. Moreover revised legislations should not favour one stakeholder specifically and should define fair rules for all organizations engaged with food donation and redistribution.
• A mix of “supportive legislation” and “supportive infrastructure” offers high potential for food waste reduction via food donation and redistribution, where the major positive change should take place in “supportive infrastructure” as an evolution of the scenario “ supportive legislation”. This may require substantial costs and incentives from government. There is ample room for a better integration between infrastructure and legislation to achieve positive outcomes. However a major limitation might be represented by the substantial investments required to develop and maintain these infrastructures. A comprehensive assessment of the environmental and social costs related to food waste and poverty could provide important evidences to justify and motivate these investments.
• Suasive measures matters. A relevant role in food waste reduction can be played by the stimulation of dialogue around food donation and redistribution by creating guidelines for donation, supporting online platforms, open dialogue on the EU level concerning lessons learned along with potential areas of development.
• The introduction of voluntary agreements between manufactures and food banks can provide good potential to increase the effectiveness of food donation and redistribution activities.
• The introduction of a harmonized methodology for the quantification of food waste represent a crucial step to improve the position of food waste in the agenda of policy makers and therefore to stimulate food waste reduction through the initiatives undertaken by food donation and redistribution activities.
• Date marking has less to do with ‘use by’ versus ‘best before’ confusion and more to do with product like extension and the operation of ‘minimum life on receipt criteria’ imposed by retailers on their suppliers, the ‘buffer’ time that is assumed between total product life and the date life used on the product. For many products this buffer exceeds food safety requirements by a significant margin and could be safely reduced on some product types. This argument is part of the ‘clarification’ issue on date markings and has significant implications on supply chain food waste and consumer food waste for more perishable products.
• Life cycle cost analysis might shed light on which valorisation solutions are more profitable and for which sector of the food supply chain.
• Experts suggest that general economic and environmental advantages from recycling catering and household food waste into animal feed, would only be possible if the EU Regulations on ABPs were to be revised (Reg. 1069/2009 and implementing Reg 142/2011).



The FUSIONS Social Camp
The FUSIONS Social Camp was aimed at discussing with stakeholders, researchers and policy makers, the potential of social innovation for food waste prevention and reduction and how the different European policies (Social Innovation, Environment, Corporate Social Responsibility and beyond) could concretely contribute to enhance the independent initiatives of European citizens and enterprises in this field in order to achieve the targets indicated by the European Parliament and the European Commission.

Position paper
The position paper is seeking to understand which policy measures might best support the creation, use and scaling of social innovation initiatives. As such its key inputs are the range of existing social innovation initiatives catalogued by WP4 in the inventory, as well as published research and policy papers. It also draws on the outcomes of the WP3 social camp event, which was an opportunity to hear from those delivering social innovation initiatives, and understand their particular policy and delivery challenges, as well as from policy makers.
This paper’s specific objectives are:
▪ To make an initial assessment of how policy is currently being used to support social innovation;
▪ To present a summarised review of how policy supports, and might be improved to enhance the range of existing social innovation initiatives; and
▪ To provide some clear areas for further research under the remaining WP3 activities, notably Task 3.2.3 aimed at building up strategies for improved policies to reduce food waste by promoting social innovation initiatives.

The objective of this report (FUSIONS T3.2.1 Market-based instruments (MBIs) and other socio-economic incentives enhancing food waste prevention and reduction) was to explore the potential of market-based instruments and other socio-economic incentives as specific policy measures for stimulating food supply-chain operators and households to prevent and reduce food waste. Market-based instruments (MBIs) are policy tools that encourage behavioural change through market signals by providing economic incentives rather than through traditional regulations.
The analyses have identified a number of market-based instruments and incentives that could potentially be applied to the design of food waste reduction and prevention policies. However, the effective implementation of the potential instruments and incentives requires accurate advance planning and a thorough analysis of the possible impacts and barriers. The results have indicated that the role of the government is crucial for the introduction and implementation of market-based instruments and incentives for food waste reduction and prevention. Moreover, a good mix of different regulatory and voluntary instruments increases the possibility of successful implementation of food waste prevention and reduction policy.

The identified instruments are mostly price-based instruments (PBIs) based on positive and negative incentives. Positive incentives seek to motivate actors to certain actions by promising a reward, whereas negative incentives aim to motivate actions by threatening a punishment.
Positive incentives include:
• Subsidies and grants for:
o Gleaning
o Stimulating knowledge exchange & co-operation between chain operators
o Stimulating food waste prevention & reduction projects
o Developing new technologies
o Enabling environment for social innovation projects

• Tax credits:
o To stimulate voluntary agreements & social innovation initiatives
o To exempt VAT on donated food

Negative incentives includes:
• “Pay-as-you-throw” (PAYT) schemes and various taxes

Beside price-based instruments, several informational policy tools have been identified as having potential to reduce and prevent food waste. These tools refer to requirements for the public disclosure of certain information by industry to consumers and can include:
• Provision of information and campaigns:
o Awareness: campaigns: ugly fruits, best before
o Guidance methodology & obligatory disclosure of companies’ food waste data
• Voluntary agreements and marketing standards
o Use of Social Fuel Stamp standard
o Use of Ecolabel on food waste reduction

Overall the implementation process of the various market-based policy options should include the following actions:
1. To provide subsidies for communication campaigns to increase awareness during the initial phase of the process;
2. To implement tax schemes, subsidies and quality assurance and certification systems/schemes in the later stages.

The report “Policy options to stimulate social innovation initiatives addressing food waste prevention and reduction” analyses how social innovation is addressed in European and Member States policies to identify potential measures and tools to be considered in the food and food waste sectors.

At the EU and MS level, social innovation is stimulated by an array of different measures and tools including:
• Sharing of best practices
• Promoting engagement
• Creating new business models
• Developing public procurement guidelines
• Enhancing public and private investments

Policies stimulating social innovation in the food waste sector should be aimed at the creation of an enabling policy environment through the design and implementation of specific national strategic food waste prevention strategies, the simplification of food waste legislation or the introduction of clear labelling systems and certification schemes.
Measures aimed at the creation of an enabling policy environment might include:
• The promotion of specific measures and tools as the introduction of food waste voluntary reporting for retailers.
• The provision of specific socio-economic incentives to create new business models for collaboration between regular and social economy or to stimulate behaviors at the business and consumer level.
• The stimulation of inter-sectoral and intra-sectoral private-private partnerships and dialogue as the introduction of voluntary and negotiated agreements.
• The introduction of social and environmental responsible practices by including food waste prevention and reduction requirement in green public procurement procedures or extending corporate social responsibility (CSR).
• The promotion of public dialogue among communities, entrepreneurs and other stakeholders.
• Investments in research and innovation.
• The support to innovators and CSOs at the local level (providing venues for events, equipment for cooking, transport for surplus food and for volunteers).
• The development of networking activities through projects and by promoting ICT access, use and skills.
• The dissemination of information and ideas (e.g info on the role of innovative packaging solutions and the critical links among packaging, product protection and food waste)
• The promotion of awareness and education.
• The identification and set up of indicators and tools to measure and identify innovation outcomes.

Objective 3.3 Establishing indicators and criteria to develop a specific evaluation framework for food waste policies

D3.4 Policy Evaluation Framework
The objectives of this food waste Policy Evaluation Framework are to help policy makers assess, monitor and track progress of policy measures (in place and to be developed) to prevent and reduce food waste, including (but not limited to) via social innovation, to present indicators and criteria to evaluate such policies, and to identify any barriers that policies may indirectly cause in reducing and preventing food waste. Since the food waste Policy Evaluation Framework is aimed at policy makers at the European Union (EU), national, regional and local level, it is intended to be flexible enough to address all different policy levels (i.e. local, national, EU).

Considering this complex setting, it is favourable for policy makers to evaluate the impact of the current policies on food waste reduction and generation at the EU, national, regional and local level.

To date, at the European Commission (EC) level, the EU Better Regulation Guidelines methodology is used as a support tool on how to prepare for a policy evaluation, for example via impact assessments, in order to ultimately assess the actual performance of EU interventions compared to initial expectations. The Commission is committed to evaluate in a proportionate way all EU spending and non-spending activities intended to have an impact on society or the economy.

By undergoing policy evaluations, the Commission takes a critical look at whether EU activities are fit for its expected purposes and if they deliver, at a minimum cost, the desired changes to European businesses and citizens as well as contribute to the EU’s general role.

Although out of the scope of this food waste Policy Evaluation Framework (as this framework is only intended to evaluate policies ex-post), it should be noted that on the EU level, the EC carries out fitness checks and ex-post evaluations in parallel. Fitness checks periodically assesses whether the regulatory framework for a policy is fit for identifying excessive regulatory burdens, overlaps, gaps, inconsistencies and obsolete measures which may have appeared over time. It furthermore helps identify the cumulative impact of legislation. Fitness checks move from the “traditional” evaluations of individual policies to a more systemic evaluation taking into consideration the whole picture of the policy framework.

The benefit of this Policy Evaluation Framework is best seen when considering the need to have a structured guideline on how to evaluate direct EU and national policies concerning food waste in an ex-post fashion, as no methodology currently exists on how to prepare and conduct evaluations of food waste policies.
Regarding direct EU food-waste-related measures, it could be relevant to consider EU food-waste-related goals included in the revised Circular Economy Package in late 2015 for evaluation in the coming years. The main goals of the Circular Economy Package, notably to support achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) for food waste reduction, include a target to halve per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level by 2030, and reduce food losses along the food production and supply chains.
This document outlines the steps to plan, conduct, and analyse food waste policy evaluations and illustrates practical examples of its application to several existent food waste policies and practices throughout Europe.

Objective 3.4 Designing guidelines and recommendations for a European Common Policy targeting prevention and reduction of food waste through socially innovative measures.

The findings of the FUSIONS project suggest a number of key recommendations concerning policies, practices and effective approaches towards food waste prevention and reduction in the EU-28, on EC and MS level. These recommendations and guidelines can support the development and implementation of a common European food waste policy framework on food waste prevention.

The FUSIONS outputs support the main EU Actions against food waste as formulated within the Circular Economy Package’ as follows:

1. On defining food waste and developing a methodology for its measurement

➢ Establish a common framework for food waste definition.
➢ Establish a standardised methodology for data collection.

2. On encouraging a dialogue among Member States and food chain stakeholders

➢ Strengthen the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste.

3. On stimulating social innovation for food waste prevention

➢ Develop guidelines for policy interventions stimulating social innovation to achieve food waste reduction/prevention.
➢ Develop guidelines on how to secure financing sources for social innovation initiatives.
➢ Stimulate an entrepreneurship / “learning by sharing” approach to replicate social innovative initiatives across EU-28, including the creation and expansion of a food surplus social innovation network.

4. On facilitating food donations

➢ Support creation of a favourable EU and national legislative framework to promote social innovation initiatives on (increased) food donations.
➢ Harmonize VAT rules for donating food.
➢ Adopt a EU-wide scheme to encourage food business operators to donate their unsold edible food to charities.
➢ Develop guidelines on food donation at EU level and support the fostering of the adaptation of national guidelines.

5. On a more effective role of government

➢ Improve cooperation and coordination among EU Directorates-General (DGs).
➢ Launch a pan-European awareness-raising campaign.
➢ Evaluate the potential impact in terms of food waste when conducting an impact assessment on new relevant legislative proposals.
➢ Define a common framework for the evaluation of policy interventions.
➢ Increase consumer understanding of the interpretation of date labels.
➢ Foster the use of former foodstuffs and by-products for feed production.
➢ Improve (by-)catch restriction rules.

6. On Stimulating further research

➢ Improve the knowledge on food waste drivers and on their environmental, social and economic impacts.
➢ Address the waste of food linked to the presence of contaminants in food.

The report includes also a number of additional, potentially relevant, policy options not directly based on FUSIONS work, but that emerged as non-secondary issues during the consultation sessions held within the FUSIONS European and Regional Platforms meetings. These options should not be considered as specific recommendations, but could be taken into further consideration for the identification of a common European food waste policy framework. Other relevant policy options to be considered include:
• establishing mandatory separate collection systems (and targets);
• introducing binding targets for food waste prevention;
• adopting a legally binding food waste hierarchy;
• redressing perverse financial incentives;
• promoting short food supply chains;
• establishing a minimum standard for enforcement bodies across Europe;
• introducing food waste prevention criteria within the EU GPP criteria for food and catering services;
• introducing food waste prevention requirements within the European Ecolabel for tourist accommodation services and camp site services;
• fostering MS to adopt National Food Waste Prevention Programmes;
• promoting R&D in the field of food saving packaging.

WP4 on Feasibility studies
The aim of WP4 was to understand and test the concept of social innovation in reducing food waste. WP4 gave the opportunity to really demonstrate different ways of tackling food waste at ground level, whilst also delivering social benefits, and developing concepts which could be rapidly scaled up and reproduced across Europe. This was done by co-funding, running, evaluating and replicating a series of selected feasibility study projects in a number of member states.
Objective 1. Identifying and evaluating social innovation initiatives across the food supply chain that contribute to a significant food waste reduction;
The first task was to find out about projects which already exist across Europe and in the wider world in order to understand the sector, to be able to identify innovation and new ideas and to avoid repeating existing proven activities during our feasibility studies.
Social Innovation was defined by looking for activities which bring new combinations or hybrids of existing elements, cut across organisational, sectoral or disciplinary boundaries; leave behind compelling new social relationships between previously separate individuals and groups.
Social innovation inventory: over 150 food waste prevention & food waste management activities were inventoried which form a best represent social innovation example. The selection criteria and project categories chosen included awareness raising, information, skills development, tools, partnerships, new practices, research, training, workshops and redistribution. Food redistribution is an enormously successful social innovation that tackles food waste and food poverty. Excellent examples of redistribution activity are found across EU-28 not least the coordinating activities of the European Federation of Food Banks ( In 2012, the European Food Banks distributed 388 000 tons of food, equivalent to 776 million meals, to 5.4 million people in partnership with 32,000 charitable organisations and social services. These were excluded from the inventory because of the established nature of the sector.
D4.1: Inventory of Social Innovation
These initiatives and activities were compiled, with details, in a searchable database on the FUSIONS website. Projects were identified in 30 European countries. There are around 200 projects now live on the FUSIONS website at
Objective 2. Inviting at least four corporate partners to set up pilot feasibility studies of best practice social innovation to prevent food waste in the most appropriate European food cultures;
Having compiled an inventory of current social innovation activities, WP4 set out to find and support new ideas which could be tested in a series of feasibility studies with a view to evaluating, replicating and scaling up these new activities once tested. A survey was launched in the first FUSIONS e-newsletter (Feb ’13) which called on social innovators across Europe to propose ideas. The survey was promoted at each of the four Regional Platform Meetings (May – Jun ‘13), WP4 ran a session at the second Governing Council meeting (Oct ‘13) to further promote the survey and call.
Ideas received were evaluated against criteria agreed by the GC, including level of innovation, potential impact, and the nature of partners involved. The aim was to select 4 feasibility pilot projects. In fact 7 were selected covering a wide range of innovation. These were:
1. CrEATive in Greece: Develop a series of engaging materials for Kindergarten children in Thessaloniki to understand food waste and influence the behaviour of their parents to reduce food waste.
2. Disco Bôcô in France: Bringing communities together to cook up preserves and sauces in a music-filled, fun environment. This brought social benefits and skills to disadvantaged groups, such as immigrant families and women who were victims of domestic abuse. The produce was distributed to charities and groups in need.
3. HORECA redistribution in Hungary: Developed new relationships between food service & hospitality companies (hotels, restaurants, catering companies) and food banks by providing hot-hot and hot-cold redistribution of cooked but uneaten meals from Horeca kitchens to food banks.
4. Gleaning, Belgium, Spain, France and Greece: Gleaning Networks pair volunteers with farmers who have leftover crop at the end of a harvest. Volunteers, from groups like Feedback in the UK and Espigoladors in Spain collect unwanted crops and redistribute through a series of routes including food banks and preparing anti food waste catering for events.
5. Social Supermarkets, pan Europe: Social Supermarkets provide a service similar to food banks but help to improve the social and economic skills as well as the self-esteem of users by setting out food as in a supermarket and allowing greater choice by ‘clients’, sometimes charging a nominal price, whilst often providing career and life skill advice as part of the experience. This project reviewed the social supermarkets in Europe and provided guidance and analysis to assist the wider development of these facilities.
6. Order Cook Pay, Sweden: OCP aimed to use technology develop closer links between parents and schools, allowing parents to pre-order meals for their children so that schools provided only the exact amount of food required to feed their pupils instead of preparing excess amounts in order to cater for the children’s choice on the day.
7. Surplus Food, Denmark: An IT system to match the producers of food surplus to organisations who could use it in Denmark.
Deliverable 4.2 A report was published detailing the selection criteria and process for attracting and selecting projects to support as feasibility pilot studies.
Objective 3 Quantify, track and report upon the effects and impacts of the feasibility studies and present reductions in food waste and resource inputs achieved. Within the constraints of commercial confidentiality, details will be presented on the costs and benefits of the pilot programmes;
Each feasibility study was evaluated to establish its success in terms of the achievement of its original aims.
Highlights include:
Disco Bôcô 20 Disco Bôcô sessions, 9 French cities; 825 kg fruits & veg turned into 1093 jars; 700 participants - 578 volunteer hrs.
Horeca (Hungarian Food Bank) More than 35,000 portions of food re-distributed, saving 14,000 Kilos of food from being wasted. This food had a value of €70,000k,
Cr EAT ive engaged: The project reached 6 Kindergardens, 480 children, 480 families, 25 Teachers, 7 Kindergarden Head Teachers and produced a series of colourful, engaging materials which have been translated into English and set out ready to be used across Europe in any language.
In total the WP4 feasibility studies have to date prevented a total of 44,561kg from being wasted. This is the equivalent of 338 wheelie bins full of food. If these wheelie bins were stacked up on top of each other they would be 37 metres higher than the Eiffel tower. Saving 44,561kg of food from landfill is the equivalent of 209 tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions avoided. That is the equivalent of taking 70 cars off the road.
Deliverable 4.3: Evaluation report. Each feasibility study project has its own individual evaluation report. These are designed to be an easily accessible assessment of the projects impacts, replicability and overall success so that they might form an entry point for other social entrepreneurs, NGOs, charities or policy makers looking to assess the potential of new types of food waste prevention activity.
Once completed, these formed part of a larger evaluation of the feasibility studies in a report which also compared them with a series of established food waste innovation activities which existed outside FUSIONS to give a wider assessment of the potential for social innovation to address food waste whilst also bringing social benefits.
The feasibility studies have reduced a substantial amount of food waste whilst delivering on other goals. However whilst this report advocates for the successful feasibility studies to be replicated, a note should also be made regarding the type of projects within this study. All the feasibility studies focus primarily on food re-distribution rather than food waste prevention. Whilst food re-distribution is an important part of tackling food waste, it is also heavily interlinked with food poverty. There is a risk that these projects become a safety net which means that governmental bodies do not take responsibility for addressing the fundamental issues that cause both food waste and food poverty. The ultimate goal should be addressing food waste prevention.
Whilst social innovation in itself cannot completely solve the issues of food waste and food poverty, the seven FUSIONS feasibility studies, along with evidence from numerous other socially innovative projects, suggests that it can be extremely effective and should be considered as one of a suite of policy tools deployed to tackle the issues.
Objective 4: Encourage other stakeholders to develop demonstration pilots to apply and scale up the feasibility studies to further test socially innovative practice.
WP4 has worked with the project managers of each feasibility study to find ways to scale up and replicate the activities of the feasibility study projects. Key achievements include:
• The design and development of a brochure that promotes activities undertaken and resources produced through the 7 feasibility studies. This was given out along with USB sticks containing a raft of documents, tools and guidance on the 7 feasibility studies as well as a Prezi presentation that gave an overview of the project and the feasibility studies and how they can be replicated, during EPM in Brussels on 19-20 May 2016.
• Promotion of the 7 feasibility study projects at the 4 regional platform meetings in 2015 and 2016.
• An opportunity for HFA hospitality project to be replicated in 5 cities across Hungary and promoted to the European Federation of Foodbanks.
• Czech Republic set up Gleaning network; Feedback supported Zachraň jídlo (a local Czech NGO) in developing their projects through the guideline produced for the FUSIONS project (which have now been adapted and translated in Czech). This has supported the setting up of Zachraň jídlo’s very own Gleaning project.
• Danish surplus food project progressing with funding and IT support from new partners. They have received funding from the Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark and now have a new IT system in place.
• Cr-EAT-ive kindergarten engagement materials translated from Greek into English and published. An opportunity has been identified for replicating Cr-EAT-ive in Italian primary schools.

Two Policy Briefs on Social Innovation projects to reduce food waste, key recommendations for the private sector and for policy makers have been published to support and encourage others to support implementing social innovation solutions across EU. Tackling food waste should be placed high on governmental agendas in order to create a favourable climate for practical on-the-ground projects such as those tested through these feasibility studies. Moreover, there should be pressure from government on commercial organisations to reduce food waste levels and furthermore to enhance food surplus management via partnerships with entrepreneurs of socially innovative projects, by:
▪ Creating a favourable EU and national legislative framework
▪ Developing tools to identify appropriate funding
▪ Building and expanding a food surplus social innovation network
▪ Encouraging dialogue around food reduction and redistribution

WP4 has been a real success, bringing colour, interest and a human face to the FUSIONS project. Lives have been touched and food waste saved as a direct result of the activity supported through FUSIONS. These projects have also left a legacy upon which social entrepreneurs can build and make further strides towards the goals of saving food and changing lives.
Some key issues have been identified which require consideration when attempting to encourage replication of these activities. These are:
• Time
• Geographical location, initiatives developed within a social context which is favourable and has food waste high on the agenda have a higher change of being succesful;
• Policy, laws and policies have to facilitate and allow for the study to be implemented. Likewise the key barriers for some feasibility studies have been related to policy which has restricted implementation; Stakeholders, the most important aspect of many of these feasibility studies has been ensuring buy in from important stakeholders, then maintaining these relationships;
• Project objectives, there should preferably be clear, narrow, measurable and precise project objectives.
• Finance, Any future project should be sustainable, therefore generate some type of income whether this is from grants, from making a social enterprise project or relying on donations/volunteers;
• Project managers, the project manager is recommended to be someone who has technical knowledge and experience in the area in which the project is operating, and ideally they will have prior connections with individuals in the project area;
• Measurement, monitoring the project’s key performance indictors and also going one step further in collecting empirical research identifies the impact of the project which demonstrates its worth to various stakeholders but also encourages further engagement from other organizations;
• Outputs, various outputs have worked well for certain audiences. Events have been widely credited to engage people in the isue of food waste prevention;
• Being innovative, go for something new, whether that is the same concept in a different country or an entirely new idea. This has generated interest from a range of stakeholders and is a good marketing strategy

Potential Impact:
Improved coordination and support of policy, monitoring and social innovation targeting food waste and its socio-economic and environmental impacts reduction, by the EC and Member States, through:
- Standardised data collection among Member States allowing EUROSTAT to report consistent data on food waste based on commonly agreed definitions and criteria and their inclusion into recommendations and proposals for specific regulations allowing EUROSTAT and the Member States to report consistently and correctly on food waste issues.
- Improved food waste reporting requirements at EU and Member state level to prevent food waste and to enable policy initiatives aiming at coherent food safety and hygiene regulation, labelling (best-before date), food distribution, and awareness and educations campaigns to all players involved.
- Improved food waste management strategies, making use of synergies between social innovation and technology development, and a specific Evaluation Framework which will provide decision makers with an effective tool for formulating, testing and refining policy measures addressing this matter
- Use of best-practice social innovations to reduce food waste, identifying solutions and tested through feasibility studies to demonstrate the potential of social innovation. FUSIONS will deliver examples of how good practice social innovations can be effectively delivered by providing clear insight into what works in a specific food culture & how challenges / barriers can be overcome; practical use of the food waste quantification and evaluation methodologies developed through the project; case studies that can be disseminated to encourage others to apply lessons learnt and scale up the feasibility studies’ results to further test the thinking; and demonstration of the potential reduction in food waste possible through social innovation.
- Ongoing and connected national and European multi-stakeholder platforms bringing together, at the European level, key players within the food supply chain and relevant stakeholders, such as consumer organisations, food services, retail, food industry, governmental organisations, NGOs, regulators, food scientists, packaging specialists and socio-economic experts, by connecting to existing networks and encouraging the development of new infrastructure.
- Greater integration of research actors and activities from across the European Union and the candidate countries through the Consortium partners and the FUSIONS European multistakeholder platform members.

Main dissemination activities and exploitation of results:
Key objectives for dissemination within the FUSIONS project were:
• Disseminating key outcomes and deliverables of the project among relevant food chain stakeholders, policy makers and the wider public.
• Raising awareness among food chain stakeholders, policy makers and the wider public on the economic, environmental and social impact of food waste, and opportunities for its prevention through social innovation.
The impacts can be summarised as follows:
FUSIONS social media presence
• Facebook: The page EU FUSIONS received 358 “likes” in Y1 / 815 in Y2/ 997 in Y3 / 1,174 by end of the project. The team wrote 2-3 posts per week.
• Twitter: The @EU_FUSIONS account was followed by 193 followers in Y1 / 584 in Y2 / 742 in Y3 / 1,110 by end of the project. Tweets were posted 2-3 times a week, on average, they are retweeted about 3 times.
• LinkedIn: The EU FUSIONS discussion group has 198 members by end of the project. It has a total of 30 discussion threads, 11 posts have been published in the group.
FUSIONS website activity
Website visits:
• 882 site visits between July 2015 to and August 2016 (per-day visits ranging from about 20 to over 100), of which 618 unique visitors,
• Average visit duration of over 2 minutes; average page views per visit: 2.64 (these metrics demonstrate that visitors are actually reading the site),
• Visits from countries: UK, USA, France and Italy.
A Food Waste Wiki was published online; the section continued to display information related to food waste: definition, drivers, data, policy, social innovation and awareness raising.
FUSIONS newsletters activity
More than 4 newsletters per year were drafted and sent out to entire FUSIONS mailing list, open rate of ~25%, highest 36%.
External newsletters were sent to a total of 1010 subscribers. An internal newsletter was sent to FUSIONS partners to enhance communication within the project.
Presentations on FUSIONS
Over 300 external presentations have been given in total in about 90 cities, mostly in Europe, but also in the USA. In addition, between December 2015 to February 2016 four Regional Platform Meetings took place across the EU (Nordic meeting in Copenhagen, North-West Europe meeting in Amsterdam, Southern Europe meeting in Thessaloniki and Central Europe meeting in Vienna) and one final meeting in Brussels. They gathered between 55 to 70 participants, the final meeting was attended by over 300 participants, including various stakeholders and experts on the topic of food waste from across the European Union.
Publications mentioning FUSIONS
In 4 years, FUSIONS partners released publications, including scientific publications and press articles, both online and in paper.
Awareness raising events related to FUSIONS organised
In total, 11 Feeding the 5000 events were organised in collaboration with FUSIONS in 8 EU countries, serving more than 55 000 meals, mobilising more than 2000 volunteers and saving more than 17 tonnes of surplus food saved from the bin.
In addition, 6 United Against Food Waste events were organised by FUSIONS Partners in cooperation with Stop Spild Ad Mad between 2014-2016. The events were a huge success – feeding in total 22.000 people in 5 Nordic countries during 2 years with free meals made of surplus food - and generating over 100 international media exposures. Numerous Partners were involved in the organisation of the events: The Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), FAO, Nordic Council of Ministers, The Ministry of Environment and Food of Denmark and Danish EPA, REMA 1000, COOP, WWF Denmark, etc.

List of Websites:
Website address:
Further contact details
Coordinator Wageningen University & Research: Toine Timmermans,
Scientific Coordinator Wageningen University & Research: Hilke Bos-Brouwers,
Dissemination Partner Deloitte Sustainability: Manuela Gheoldus,