Welcome to our first REFRESH Newsletter!

After 7 months of intensive work within the EU REFRESH project we would like to share some news with you about our activities, progress and relevant policy developments in the area of food waste reduction.

In our pilot countries Spain, Germany and Hungary (and soon the Netherlands) we kick-started meetings between business, policy makers, scientists and civil society representatives in our “Pilot Working Platforms”. More meetings will follow with the aim of developing strategic agreements and a “Framework for Action” to reduce food waste in each of these countries.

REFRESH’s work program is complemented by momentum on food waste issues in international fora, with the UN Sustainable Development Goals’s target 12.3 on food waste, the launch of the Champions 12.3 Coalition as well as the adoption of the EU Action Plan for a Circular Economy.

To find out more, read below.


1.    REFRESH in Spain - Pilot Working Platform: First Steps to Set Up a Framework for Action

On March 2, 2016, the first REFRESH meeting to develop a Framework for Action for reducing food waste in Spain took place in Barcelona. Stakeholders interested in tackling food waste at national level got together to share their visions about the problem and potential solutions. The meeting developed the basis for future collaborative work within the Pilot Working Platform.
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2.    REFRESH in Germany - Pilot Working Platform Takes Shape

On February 2, 2016, fourteen organisations joined the first Pilot Working Platform meeting in Wuppertal, Germany. Representatives from the food industry, retail and ministries at the national level as well as civil society organizations discussed the status quo on food waste and food waste policy in Germany. Participants agreed to meet at the beginning of May 2016 to develop a Framework for Action.
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3.    REFRESH in Hungary - Steering Committee launched

Representatives from key organizations of the food sector attended the first REFRESH Pilot Working Platform Steering Committee meeting in Budapest on March 22, 2016. The event was hosted by the Ministry of Agriculture and organized by the Hungarian Food Bank Association. Participants confirmed their commitment towards more efficiently using food and fighting against hunger. The discussants set out to identify goals, priorities, and responsibilities, and identified potential projects that could help achieve those goals. The Steering Committee assigned research, knowledge sharing and raising of awareness as the first steps, which will be started in each segment of the food sector.
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4.    REFRESH Focus Groups gather across Europe

REFRESH is currently conducting qualitative studies to improve the understanding of consumer behaviour and food waste. Therefore, over 20 of 24 focus groups have taken place in Spain, Germany, Hungary and the Netherlands. In each country, a total of 6 focus groups will be conducted to discuss motivations, backgrounds and situations when people throw away foods, characteristics of the perfect non–waster both at home and out of home, as well as a ranking of different products and situations on acceptability of throwing away food. The focus groups led to lively discussions, which will be analysed for new insights.
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Related News

5.    EU FUSIONS Final Conference: No More Food to Waste

The REFRESH consortium would like to announce the final conference of the EU Project FUSIONS in Brussels. FUSIONS was among the first and most important EU projects on food waste that will come to an end in summer 2016. With many partners and the coordinators involved in both projects, REFRESH can build on and complement the successful work and network building of FUSIONS.
The event will bring together participants from its extensive stakeholder platform of over 200 members including leading organizations and experts on food waste prevention and innovation across Europe. The final event will highlight the findings and work of the four year project and reveal the next steps as the topic of food waste has recently risen across several national and international political agendas. The conference is thus an opportunity to discuss the work plan for a European Circular Economy, the Champions 12.3 Coalition and to announce the start of the REFRESH project. The speakers, participants and program can be viewed online.
While originally planned for March 31, the event is now postponed due to the terrible terror attacks in Brussels. A new date will be announced soon, with the conference most likely taking place between mid-May and June 2016.
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6.    Update on Sustainable Development Goals

In September 2015, over 150 political leaders met in New York City to adopt the new UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The 17 established goals set the world’s sustainable development agenda for the next 15 years. Within Goal 12 there is now an international target (12.3) of halving per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level and reducing food losses along production and supply chains until 2030. 2016 is an essential year for all countries – including the EU and its Member States – to start implementing the SDGs.
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7.    Champions Initiative 12.3

To accelerate progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) target 12.3 a coalition of “champions” (Champions 12.3) was launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2016. Within the coalition of 30 global leaders on food waste, four are also partners within the REFRESH consortium.
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8.    EU Circular Economy Package

On December 2, 2015 the European Commission adopted the new Circular Economy Package that includes an EU Action Plan. Action to address food waste is a key component of the strategy, which sets out to contribute to meeting the global Sustainable Development Goal of halving food waste by 2030. The proposals within the package have gathered support from a range of stakeholders and EU Member States, including many in the packaging industry. It includes measures related to food waste, such as commitments to improve date labeling. However, some have criticised the removal of a concrete target on reducing food waste. Talks on the implementation of the package are ongoing in 2016.
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REFRESH (Resource Efficient Food and dRink for Entire Supply cHain) is an EU research project taking action against food waste. 26 partners from 12 European countries and China work 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. Read more ...


REFRESH Newsletter
Publisher: Ecologic Institute, Pfalzburger Str. 43/44, 10717 Berlin
Editor: Stephanie Wunder, Ecologic Institute, Pfalzburger Str. 43/44, 10717 Berlin
Legal Notice: http://eu-refresh.org/legal-notice
Contact: info@eu-refresh.org
Website: http://eu-refresh.org

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