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Resource Efficient Food and dRink for the Entire Supply cHain

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - REFRESH (Resource Efficient Food and dRink for the Entire Supply cHain)

Reporting period: 2018-07-01 to 2019-06-30

An estimated 89 million tonnes of food goes to waste in European (EU) countries each year (FUSIONS 2016), and modelling suggests this could increase to over 120 million tonnes by 2020. Food waste contributes heavily to global carbon emissions, with carbon emissions associated with the production and waste of food being equivalent to the third largest carbon emitting country after USA and China (FAO 2013).
Food waste is ethically unjustifiable in a world where almost 1 billion people remain undernourished. Reducing food waste throughout the food supply chain is a key mechanism by which a sustainable food system can be created. This brings economic, social and environmental benefits. The European Commission has prioritized Food waste reduction in its Circular Economy Package (Dec. 2015).
REFRESH overarching aim is to prevent and reduce avoidable food waste across the full supply chain and to optimise the utilisation of resources within the food system and valorisation of residual waste flows including packaging.
WP1: Based on the research framework, a large cross-country survey was implemented preceded by 2 pilot studies to construct the measurement scales. A qualitative study was performed on the use of ICT-based tools for food management and waste prevention at consumer level. The influence of on-pack information on behavioural intentions and usefulness from the consumer perspective was studied via a viral survey. Finally, the results of the study on consumer acceptance of by-product valorisation for (in)direct human consumption became available.
WP2: In support of the PWPs in NL, HU, ES and GE, the FA agreements were evaluated as well as action-based innovation projects. Replication of the FA and PWP approach with the Chinese partners has continued. The online Community of Experts was launched, also hosting 4 Webinars on key REFRESH outcomes. The development on DSS tools was finalised, including gap analysis, quick scan tool, food waste monitoring DSS for retail and a set of scientific papers. The Blueprint approach on the Frameworks of Action have been completed and 4 preparatory workshops with interested MSs have been established.
WP3: The first deliverable on the systems maps and analytical frameworks was finalised and published, identifying drivers of food waste across the supply chain in 5 food product categories with high food waste prevalence. Secondly, the Policy mix assessment was published. The Review on EU policies with relevant impact on food waste prevention and valorisation was published. Six Policy working platforms were organised and four policy briefs were published. Recommendations based on the workshop and briefs have been summarised. The need for a harmonised EU food (and not only food waste) legislation was underlined.
WP4: The integrated model was developed Linking Bayesian and agent-based models to assess consumer food waste. Innovation diffusion across the chain was studied using IT and NL cases. The developed Roadmaps and web-based tool allow simulations based on a Bayesian hierarchical mixed-effects modelling approach. Pan-European scenarios of food waste levels consist of 30 reports on simulations of food waste amounts generated at Regional and Country level. A number of scenarios were developed in a pan-European simulation of selected interventions.
WP5: A simplified approach for estimating and comparing different valorisation options was developed as background for the FORKLIFT tool, drafted as a spreadsheet, and populated with data on 5 side flows. Full LCA/LCCs have been carried out for nectarine/peach supply chains in Italy. Other cases include pig feed, German meat production chain, and tomatoes. It was shown that if production can be decreased and resources can be used more efficiently, the considerable potential to global warming mitigation could be achieved.
WP6: The FoodWasteExplorer was developed as an open access online resource on side flow composition, and is populated with over 26,000 data points. A model breakfast cereal drink has been formulated using chicory root fibre, as well as consumer acceptance testing. Research was carried out to investigate using vegetable side streams, treated using steam explosion. A techno-economic analysis was performed. An animal feed DST for UK, ES and NL has been developed. Technical guidelines on the potential for processing surplus food to allow it to be used as a safe pig feed were completed. Research was undertaken into the conversion of putrescible waste to fuels and chemicals. A report was produced on the identification of how external conditions can influence development of food waste conversion options. The valorisation approaches were analysed on their possible support of reaching EU Food waste reduction targets.
WP7: A broad variety of dissemination activities have supported the REFRESH project including a the update of the Project Dissemination strategy, actualisation of the website, use of the social media channels, updates to the ‘corporate design’ for communication products, production of newsletters and updates to the intermediary results brochure. Supporting trainings on key-messages were delivered at GC and EBM meetings. Click statistics were gathered. 348 articles have been posted, total amount of website visits was 282.970 with 511.051 page views. The CoE will be continued after 2019 by the EU Platform on FLW. Approx. 4000 participants attended the REFRESH events. A REFRESH “Food Waste Solution Contest” was organised in2016, receiving over 50 submissions. The public voting for the best ideas counted over 61.000 votes. The contest was replicated in China. In 2019 a “Doggy Bag Contest” was organized. 6 newsletters have been shared during the project to 851 subscribers. The Twitter account counted 2165 followers and 763 tweets have been posted. @EURefresh has been tagged 1640 and reached 135.000 followers. The Facebook account reached 1001 likes, from 629 posts. Several project videos have been produced and posted on Youtube with 5000 views. Approx. 90 mentions of REFRESH were made in other media. REFRESH was presented at 170+ external events.
WP8: This WP manages the project and administrative aspects of REFRESH, and coordinates the consortium and its governance bodies. 1 governing council meeting was organised, 1 Review meeting, and 1 intermediary activity reporting on M37-M42 were produced. 9 Regular monthly meetings of the EB were organised as well 3 face-to-face EB meetings and bilateral EAB meetings with the strategic coordinator.
The main impact areas of REFRESH are:
- Reduction of food waste by consumers;
- Increased donations and re-distribution of food (to people in need) by businesses (from producers – retail);
- Reduction of food waste in retail & groceries sector through better chain management;
- Reduction of food waste in the out-of-home, food service and hospitality sector;
- Conversion of food losses and secondary resources to higher value products (feeds, biobased, ingredients), and
- Reduction of food waste in (post-harvest) supply chain (primary production, transport, processing and manufacturing).

REFRESH succeeded in its first two project periods to establish the initial inventories and analyses and created through its dissemination efforts a considerable outreach to share knowledge and best practices across European and Chinese stakeholder groups. The impact of the project's outreach is described in D7.2.