In June 2017 the 2nd meeting of the EU Platform on Food Losses & Food Waste, organised by DG Health and Food Safety, was held. REFRESH coordinator Toine Timmermans, together with Kate Bygrave who leads the ‘Framework for Actions’ work package, presented the RFERESH project, its establishment of national frameworks for action, success factors and recent developments within the national platforms of Germany, Hungary, Spain, and the Netherlands.
Participants from the national platforms share information about recent developments (for Germany: Dr. Anke Niderhaus from the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture; for Hungary: Balazs Cseh from the Hungarian Food Bank Association, for Spain: Raquel Díaz Ruiz from CREDA and for the Netherlands: Tekla ten Napel from the Ministry of Economic Affairs). The presentation, which was held at the workshop in Brussels, focused on the project's work in relation to establishment of national frameworks for action and their role in developing models to forecast food waste, finding better uses for surplus food, addressing related environmental aspects etc. The programme aims to produce a significant impact on food waste prevention and reduction by addressing related behavioural aspects and creating new collaborative models between stakeholders. Independent of the sector, all collaborations shared three main features: a food waste reduction target established on a voluntary basis, a common food waste measurement methodology and a practice of result sharing.
Some of the ingredients of a fruitful collective agreement were pointed out:
- securing government support;
- involving key actors in the food supply chain, NGOs, trade associations and civil society, with a focus on fewer but more involved signatories.
Further on, each of the four participant countries in the REFRESH project gave a brief presentation on the state-of-play of their respective national framework for action.
Toine Timmermans and Kate Bygrave highlighted Platform members' common commitment towards achieving SDG 12.3 together with the need to share best practices. The identification of solutions implemented in some Member States can be a source of inspiration and later be adapted by others. They also added that networking, setting commitments and finding common solutions on a local, regional, national or European level were crucial actions that ensured the success of food waste prevention programmes.