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Sowing the Seeds for Short and Long Term Improved EU Policies for Food Waste – REFRESH Policy Workshop

Sowing the Seeds for Short and Long Term Improved EU Policies for Food Waste – REFRESH Policy Workshop

8 November 2017
Food Waste policy is affected by a large range of EU policies. EU food waste policy though lacks an integrated approach. Participants see opportunities to go beyond sectoral solutions through an integrated EU Food Policy.

This workshop presented and discussed preliminary findings on opportunities for improving EU policies relevant to food waste prevention and valorisation and explored short- and long-term strategies with stakeholders. It was directed at policymakers and at high-level experts in food waste from business, research, and civil society.

Food Waste is a problem that has its roots in different sectors and different policy areas. Hence, solving the problem needs a strategic and integrative approach. While there has been some progress on EU level to fight food waste, it remains a main challenge to better align the different policies which can combat food waste. In order to identify opportunities for policy improvement and synergies between different policy areas, the EU research project REFRESH has conducted an EU policy screening that analyses the different entry points of EU policies to food waste prevention and valorization and formulates opportunities for improvement.

A summary of workshop outcomes is available on the REFRESH website.

The screening covers 1) waste and resource policies, 2) food safety and hygiene, 3) (special case) use of former food for animal feed, 4) agriculture and rural development, 5) fisheries policy, 6) waste to energy (bioenergy), 7) consumer policy (product information, date labeling, nudging approaches), 8) unfair trading practices, 9) consumer behaviour insights, and 10) voluntary cooperation in the food chain. Due to the research focus of the REFRESH project a particular emphasis has been put on analyzing entry points to improve policies that increase the uptake of food waste for animal feed, opportunities to promote voluntary agreements, approaches to tackle unfair trading practices, and policy options to influence consumer behaviour. Additionally, the option of an integrated EU Food Policy was explored.

In the workshop, participants and REFRESH researchers investigated all above mentioned policy areas. The workshop featured structured sessions for dialogue across sectors and policy areas to develop a common understanding of drivers and opportunities. The results of the workshop will guide future policy work within the REFRESH project (e.g. development of specific policy recommendations). 

The workshop took place on 08. November 2017 in Brussels, back to back with the Meeting of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste on 07. November. The workshop was run by Ecologic Institute as part of REFRESH's work on improving policy to address food waste. Documentation from the workshop including the minutes, agenda, presentations, and photodocumentation are available on the REFRESH website.

European Commission, Directorate-General Research & Innovation (DG Research & Innovation)
8 November 2017
Brussels, Belgium
Number of Participants
Project ID
food waste, food, sustainable food, food policy, resource policy, circular economy, bioeconomy, bioenergy, agriculture policy, fisheries policy, consumer behaviour, waste policy, food safety, date labelling, voluntary agreements, participatory workshop, Europe