This report analyses two specific activities within the REFRESH project: First, the dissemination of the Framework for Action ("Blueprint") that helps national governments to build Voluntary Agreements with the relevant stakeholders in the sector to reduce food loss and waste and second, work with Standardisation Bodies, specifically barcode standards used by retailers.
Framework for Action (“Blueprint”)
The Framework for Action approach, piloted in four countries through the REFRESH project identified five steps as being key to include in the establishment and management of Voluntary Agreements. The REFRESH Voluntary Agreement Blueprint is based on these five success factors which have been evidenced and followed throughout the project by the four pilot countries. The Blueprint was designed as an interactive PDF document and is available for download.
Members of the four REFRESH national Pilot Working Platforms (PWP) were encouraged to participate in innovative projects (so called "pilots") to support the aims of their Voluntary Agreements. One idea pitched was the reduction of food loss and waste in the fresh foods category by using GS1 barcodes containing expiry date information that can be used by retailers and consumers. The use of these GS1 barcodes enables more accurate information on the expiry date profiles of fresh foods, which in turn can provide an optimisation of fresh foods stocks, the ability to block the sale of near-expired product, the ability to sell-out near-expired products at attractive markdowns for consumers and thereby, a significant reductions of in-store loss and waste.
The main evaluation of REFRESH's outreach activities is summarized in the 80 pages report "Final report on dissemination and exploitation of REFRESH results" that analyses the reach and impact of all communication tools used by REFRESH (events, publications, contest, quiz, website, Community of Experts, newsletter, social media activities on Twitter and Facebook, videos, press releases etc).
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 unavoidable food waste and packaging materials. The REFRESH project ended in August 2019.