Food Waste Solution Contest

The REFRESH Food Waste Solution Contest received over fifty project submissions from across Europe. 47 Finalists were selected to participate in voting for the Public Award. The public voting period started on the 1 February 2017 and ended on 28 February 2017. The Public Award winner joins two winners selected by the jury. The winners presented their projects at the REFRESH Food Waste 2017 Conference on 18 May 2017 in Berlin. A poster about the Contest is available for download.


Wastewatchers and Transition Surplus Food Project were selected as winners by the expert jury, and Zero Waste Aiud gathered over 17,000 votes to win the Public Award! Read more about the winners ...

Award Ceremony - Berlin, 18 May 2017

Call for Submissions

The REFRESH Food Waste Solution Contest is looking for the freshest ideas to tackle food waste across Europe!

Across Europe, people are developing and implementing innovative solutions to the problem of food waste. The REFRESH Food Waste Solution Contest wants to bring much deserved recognition to these ideas and encourage their spread. Anyone that had developed a food waste innovation - including individuals, organisations, start-ups and large companies – was encouraged to submit a video or visual essay about their project.

The deadline for submissions was 30 November 2016.

Winners were chosen by a high-profile jury of food waste leaders from science, business, civil society and the EU Commission, Winners received prizes, including the opportunity to participate in a Food Waste Innovation incubator event hosted by Food Surplus Entrepreneurs Network, a side event of the REFRESH Conference in Berlin May 2017.

Download Participant Package for REFRESH Food Waste Solution Contest [pdf, 304 KB, English]

Contest goals

The main objective of the contest was to highlight and support solutions to food waste and food packaging waste at any part(s) of the food chain.

The REFRESH Food Waste Solution Contest therefore sought to:

  • encourage the development, implementation, and spread of concrete and innovative solutions to tackle food waste
  • engage stakeholders in a dialogue with the REFRESH project, other stakeholders, and the public on the issue of food waste

Submissions were accepted in the format of:

  • videos of max. 5 minutes with an accompanying summary text of max. 300 words, or
  • visual essays (a series of 3-10 photos or graphics that together tell a story) with explanatory captions totalling max. 500 words. Visual essays could include photographs, drawings, graphics, logos, or infographics. Slides, presentations, or other documents containing significant amounts of text were not be included in visual essays.

Anyone from Europe was welcome to submit an entry, including social entrepreneurs, large companies, SMEs, students, NGOs and community organizations, public administrations, and individuals. Submissions had to be the own work of the individual or organization doing the submitting.

Submissions had to be in English. Videos or images in other languages were allowed if they include English subtitles. 

Selection and Jury

Submissions were judged by the jury based on four criteria:

  • innovativeness of the idea
  • visual quality of the submission
  • realization potential
  • potential/current impact

Finalists were selected from the submissions. From these finalists, the jury selected two winners, and the public also selected a winner through an online voting platform. 

  • Finalists: a number of finalists were selected based on the above mentioned criteria. All finalists are displayed on the REFRESH website and spread in REFRESH social media.
  • Jury selection winners: two winners were selected by the jury from the finalists. 
  • Public award winner: all finalists were eligible for a public award. Voting took place on the REFRESH website between 01.02.2017 and 28.02.2017. Click here to see the entries . The content of the Public Award submissions is the sole responsibility of the submitting organisations and does not reflect the position of the REFRESH Project or the European Commission.

The members of the jury are:

  • Tristram Stuart: founder Feedback and Toast Ale Ltd, Ashoka Fellow, 12.3 Champion

    Tristram Stuart, founder of the charity Feedback and Toast Ale Ltd, is an international award-winning author, speaker and campaigner on the environmental and social impacts of food production. He won the The Sophie Prize in 2011. He is an Ashoka Fellow, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader and a Champion 12.3 for the UN Sustainable Development Goal of halving food waste and reducing food loss globally by 2030.

  • Anne-Laure Gassin: Policy officer, European Commission Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (SANTE)

    Anne-Laure Gassin joined the European Commission in 2013 and is supporting the development of policy on food waste prevention. She previously served as Director of Communications at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) where she developed and implemented EFSA’s risk communication strategy. Prior to that, she spent more than 15 years with the Kellogg Company, where her last appointment was as European Director with the responsibility for nutrition communications, and scientific and regulatory affairs.

  • Ignacio Gavilan: Director, Sustainability, Consumer Goods Forum

    Ignacio Gavilan leads the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF)’s Environmental Sustainability team that aims to position the consumer goods industry as a leader in protecting against climate change and reducing waste. Ignacio is responsible for ensuring high quality, efficient and strategic leadership along with administrative support to the Climate Change and Waste agenda, including food loss and waste reduction. The CGF supports member companies in the implmentation of the CGF 2015 Food Waste Resolution to halve food waste within owned operations by 2025 and engages in collaborative initiatives such as the Food Loss and Waste Protocol to ensure maximum success of measurement and reduction. Past experience for Ignacio also includes Founder & Principal Consultant at Accipiter and sustainability advisory and senior roles at Anglo American, BP and McDonald’s.

  • Dr. Hilke Bos-Brouwers: Senior Researcher Sustainable Chains at Wageningen University & Research - Food & Biobased Research (FBR)

    Hilke Bos-Brouwers Hilke has 12+ years of experience in research in food supply chains and innovation management. She is the Scientific Coordinator of the FP7 project FUSIONS (Food Use for Social Innovation through Optimising waste preventioN Strategies) and the H2020 project REFRESH (Resource Efficient Food and dRink for the Entire Supply cHain). Furthermore, Hilke is Theme Leader Sustainable and Safe Food research for Wageningen UR and project leader of various Food Waste national projects by FBR together with corporate, social and governmental clients.


Jury selection winners and public award winners  all received the following prizes

  • invitation and travel/accommodation costs covered to present their food waste solution at the REFRESH conference, an event attended by Europe’s leading food waste stakeholders in Berlin in Spring 2017
  • opportunity to participate in a Food Waste Innovation incubator event hosted by Food Surplus Entrepreneurs Network as a side event of the REFRESH conference
  • REFRESH Trophy, produced from sustainable materials
  • visual essay or video displayed on the REFRESH website and spread in REFRESH social media