Cutting down food waste requires action at different levels. Furthermore, food waste is an issue that affects virtually all of us. That is why we teamed up with Urbact, Interact and ESPON programmes during the European Week of Regions and Cities to discuss the topic. In a session titled 'Fighting food waste while boosting local economic activity' we looked at how local and regional authorities can turn food waste from public institutions, businesses, and households into a resource for the whole society.

Our project ECOWASTE4FOOD is as excellent source of inspiration and solutions. The project works with regional authorities to improve the regional policies and practices on food waste reduction. During the session, Samuel Feret from CIHEAM-IAMM (the advisory partner of ECOWASTE4FOOD), stressed the important role of local authorities in supporting private entities to cut down on food waste. Have a look at this interview to hear more:

When it comes to practical examples and solutions, Michele Pancaldi from the City of Ferrara (one of the ECOWASTE4FOOD partners) shared a good practice from Ferrara, where local retailers are encouraged to donate unsold food products to charity. The participating retailers benefit from a discounted waste tax and food gets redistributed to people in need - a win-win solution. Hear more about the good practice in the video below and see the details here. You can also find even more eco-innovations from the project here.

While ECOWASTE4FOOD solutions focused on what kind of role regional authorities can play, there are plenty of other inspiring initiatives to learn from:

  • CIRCTER project provides policy guidance on circular economy with a territorial focus. The data analysed in the project provides Europe-wide insights on biomass and food waste.
  • BioCanteens project shows how school canteens can significantly reduce food waste and save costs with 'micro good practices' that are easy and simple to implement, such as offering different portion sizes, sorting food waste, and raising awareness among staff and children.   
  • database makes data and statistics on all Interreg projects available from one source. Browse more examples of projects working on food waste here

Session report, presentations, photos and additional information is available on the event website.

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