The project aims to promote donation of unsold food (or food that is about or near to expire date) by the "Large-Scale Retail Trade" (GDO) to no profit body
The project aimed to understand how an efficient system to collect and avoid food waste can be set up.
The research was run identifying test areas, using social and environmental benefits costs (ACB) analysis and estimating the expected waste rate.
The data needed were collected thanks to the collaboration of the subscribers (Municipality involved and GDOs selected in the chosen area) who transmitted the data on a voluntary basis. Data collection was carried out for one year, starting in September 2015. The data transmitted were the basis for the ACB study and the study on waste rate, quoted above.
The data collected were different between organizations (NGOs, GDOs) and municipalities. The first set of data, requested quarterly, was: weight and economic value for any kind of food typology. The second set was about GDO’s food-waste management, related amount of waste and costs, rates, costs for the municipality, food-waste peculiarities, actions set up to reduce the problem, economic and social value of the food recovered, etc., in order to allow to define the dimension of the problem and the monitoring of the improvements.
In the end a sanitary guideline was produced to support the food waste management, in order to recover it an effective manner and clear hint to design a tax reduction to support GDOs in reducing waste production. The municipality in charge of defining the amount of the waste tax, has the liability to grant a tax reduction in case of virtuous behaviour.

Resources needed

No internal costs. The costs for the external expertise involved in the project.

Evidence of success

Creation of a virtuous national networks to track and reduce food waste; identification of series of practical initiatives, such as tax breaks and the creation of a sanitary guideline, disseminated to NGOs and daily used.
Region is taking action into the Circular Economy observatory, namely on the food-waste work group, to promote with the municipalities to start the procedures to reduce the waste tax in favor of the large-scale retail trade that devolves the unsold.

Difficulties encountered

Difficulties in devolution of fresh food both by GDOs and NGOs, in particular because the latter entities often do not have the necessary equipment to guarantee the transport and storage of fresh food;
The GP is based exclusively on voluntary activity;
Partial involvement of all the regional GDOs.

Potential for learning or transfer

This GP can be replicated everywhere, helping small Third Sector organizations, characterized by a non-systematic activity and with a low level of organization, providing.
The reduction in taxes towards the large-scale retail trade or commercial establishments is a useful instrument to lead Large Scale Retailer towards the devolution and can entail an incentive to encourage the practice of devolution.
Practical and targeted indications that can be useful to facilitate the recovery and distribution of food.
Main institution
Lombardy region
Lombardia, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
June 2015
End Date


Alessandro Dacomo Please login to contact the author.