REFRESH Food Waste 2017 brought together diverse stakeholder groups from across Europe working on food waste prevention, reduction and valorisation.
The Conference on 18 May at the Umweltforum in Berlin featured keynote addresses by the Parliamentary State Secretary of the German Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture Dr. Maria Flachsbarth and the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis. It also included presentations, discussions and interactive sessions with REFRESH researchers, networking sessions, a presentation of the REFRESH Food Waste Solution Contest winners as well as a public food waste event together with REFRESH partner Feedback. Throughout the day, conference participants could tour the Innovator Fair which invited and showcased successful food waste initiatives from across Europe.
The Conference featured several innovative elements including two food waste art installations and a performative interpretation of the day's events by an improvisational theatre group. Two real-live pigs joined the Conference in the afternoon to bring attention to the controversial issue of using surplus food to feed livestock. Following the Conference, participants were encouraged to take part in a “Disco Chop” evening event. Participants helped prepare the evening meal chopping rescued fruit and vegetables. Craft beer brewed from surplus bread was made especially for the REFRESH Conference by the Berlin Brewery Straßenbräu.
REFRESH also collaborated with the Food Surplus Entrepreneurs Network to bring food waste innovators and experts together in an Incubator Day for food waste projects on 19 May 2017 as part of the conference.