The success of the communication and dissemination activities and the public outreach of the REFRESH project significantly outpaced expectations and achievements of comparable EU research projects.
Key highlights are:
- REFRESH website: The project's website served as the central mean and backbone of all communication and dissemination activities. Until July 2019, 348 articles have been posted. Of the different information categories results articles have been viewed 20.820 times. Attachments have been downloaded 8.028 times.
- Online network "Community of Experts": REFRESH also created itself an online network for knowledge and best practice on food waste prevention: the REFRESH Community of Experts (CoE). On the REFRESH CoE, experts can register as users to share their own research results, tools and innovative approaches, as well as interact with the contributions of other experts. The CoE has been created in partnership with the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste. In July 2019, the CoE counted 437 members.
- REFRESH events: Events were a central communication instrument in the project. Two conferences, a series of policy workshops, national platform meetings, webinars etc. were held. Overall, REFRESH organized 55 events in eight countries (including China). In total, approximately 4.000 participants attended the REFRESH events.
- National platforms and pilot activities: The work within the national platforms – particularly the setup of pilot projects achieved significant impacts as well.
- REFRESH publications: Within four years project duration REFRESH published 75 reports and articles, 4 policy briefs, 9 academic journal articles (with another 12 planned for publication after the project’s end), 42 project reports, 3 frameworks for action, 4 decision support systems (Voluntary agreement Blueprint, Animal Feed Tool FORKLIFT and FoodWasteExplorer), 12 videos and 3 results brochures (2 interim and 1 final).
- REFRESH contests: A REFRESH "Food Waste Solution Contest" was organised at the end of 2016. Individuals, organisations, start-ups and large companies made contest submissions. The REFRESH Food Waste Solution Contest received over 50 project submissions from across Europe. Besides two jury prizes the contest also included a public prize. The public voting for the best ideas counted over 61.000 votes.
- The REFRESH Twitter account counted 2.165 followers by 31 July 2019. In terms of community building, it is the most successful REFRESH channel. In the last three years of the project, a total of 763 tweets has been posted and @Eurefresh has been mentioned 1.640 times by other Twitter channels.
- Facebook: The REFRESH facebook page has reached 1001 likes by 31 July 2019. In the last three years of the project, a total of 629 posts have been made on Facebook.
- Videos/YouTube: Within the project several videos were produced and uploaded to YouTube. These videos resulted in over 5.000 views (with more than 7.000 minutes watch time) until July 2019, not including four videos with project results that were published in autumn 2019.
- Media mentioning: 90 mentions of REFRESH in other media (newspapers, newsletters, blogs, websites, radio, TV etc.) have been reported.
- Direct networking/presentation at external events: During the whole project, REFRESH partners widely interacted with existing groups and networks. REFRESH and selected REFRESH results were presented to different target groups at numerous conferences and events. REFRESH partners reported to have represented REFRESH at 173 external events covering a broad geographic range.
REFRESH was an EU research project taking action against food waste. 26 partners from 12 European countries and China worked towards the project's goal to contribute towards Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 of halving per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level and reducing food losses along production and supply chains, reducing waste management costs, and maximizing the value from un-avoidable food waste and packaging materials. The REFRESH project ended in August 2019.