Call for abstracts

January 23, 2015

Envisioning a Future without Food Waste and Food Poverty (Envisioning 2015) Conference, will be held in Bilbao (Spain), from November 17th –18th, 2015.

This conference is designed as a multidisciplinary deliberation forum. It aims to provide us with an opportunity to discuss significant challenges facing the global food system in the 21st Century. Researchers will be able to share their knowledge, stimulate collaborations with colleagues from across the disciplines and expand their networks. Some of the fields of inquiry include: rural development, agronomy, engineering, environmental sciences, human nutrition, law and governance, sociology and philosophy.

This is an excellent opportunity to showcase your research, findings and practices in the various thematic sessions.

Please visit the web site: for further details.

Abstracts for consideration as Invited Lectures, Session Lectures and Poster Presentations are to be submitted by the OASES System-Wageningen Academics Publishers-.

The proceedings will be published in a monograph.


FUSIONS Awareness raising events

December 22, 2014

The past two months have seen three Disco Soupes across Europe; Thessaloniki, Warsaw and Barcelona.

On the 9th of November in Thessaloniki, Greece, a delicious free feast for 5000 members of the public was served, sourced entirely from fresh, top quality surplus produce, including misshapen potatoes, wonky carrots and oversized aubergines. This event was organized by FUSIONS Partner FeedBack in partnership with a range of organizations working to tackle food waste in Thessaloniki, Greece and internationally. The partners included Anatoliki AE, WWF Greece, Boroume, Slow Food Youth Network Greece, British Council and EU Fusions, with the support of the Municipality of Thessaloniki and Thessaloniki Youth Capital 2014.

On the 22nd of November, it was Barcelona’s turn for a Feeding of 5000. Once again, a feast made out of surplus food was made available to members of the public. For the event to be successful, organizations such as El PLAT de Gràcia, PAA- Plataforma Aprofitem els Aliments, La Colmena que dice Sí Gràcia, Foodisms by Mayya Papaya, Espigoladors, Feedback and FUSIONS, came together in their support against food waste.

On the 26th of November, Feeding the 5000 went to Warsaw, Poland. Hundreds of kilos of surplus food was used to serve thousands of free meals to show that food is too good to waste. The event consisted of chef demos, cooking workshops for kids, composting workshops and various other food waste fighting actions. Partners included the City of Warsaw, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, “Swiat na Tak” Foundation, Warsaw Food Bank, Feedback and FUSIONS.

The aim of these events was to highlight the global food waste scandal and showcase the delicious solutions to fight food waste available in these countries and beyond.

Have a Happy Zero Waste Christmas!

December 22, 2014

Love to enjoy your Christmas dinner? Indulging over the holidays need not generate food waste, and here are some tips to help you along :

While shopping and cooking

  • Take stock of what is in your pantry before shopping. Avoid buying a product which you already have in stock.
  • Have a plan. It’s hard to guess how much food will actually be consumed at your dinner table but if you take the time to estimate, you will save yourself some money and lessen your chances of ending up with too many leftovers. Try this portion planner to get quantities right:
  • Check the clearance section at your grocery store. Not only can you save money by purchasing these marked down items, you’ll be saving them from making their way to a landfill.
  • Use the whole bird and the whole vegetable. The skin of your vegetables has a ton of nutrients. If you forgo vegetable peeling, you are, as a result, being healthier and reducing food waste. You can also eat parts of the turkey that you automatically threw away last year such as turkey necks.
  • Promote smaller portions. Guests may be inclined to load up their plates with far more than they’ll actually eat in one sitting. Set out smaller serving spoons if hosting the meal family-style.

If you still made too much

  • Eat your leftovers. This one may seem obvious, but lots of leftovers wind up in the bin. Instead of throwing away your excess food, make a delicious snack or meal out of your Christmas leftovers. For example, have you ever thought of turning your Christmas pudding into a tasty strudel? You can find some other inspiring recipes here:
  • When in doubt, use your freezer. Buy extra ice cube trays, so much you can save using these.
  • Give back. Find a local food bank or a non-profit organisation to donate your excess food to. Not only will you be making a huge difference for someone in need, but you will also help divert waste from a local landfill or incineration. Apps are now available in different countries to help you find the nearest food bank or charity in your area.
  • Donate your scraps to a zoo or farm. Believe it or not, some zoos and farms will take your leftovers to recycle into animal feed.

The FUSIONS Members Love Food Hate Waste initiative and Unilever have also created a partnership aiming at helping twelve families across the UK to optimize the use of their leftovers at Christmas. The initiative was started when the need to have an online food directory came up. The objective behind it is to encourage people to eat responsibly and not waste food.

Find out more about this initiative and discover other useful Zero Waste Christmas tips here:

EC’s Circular economy package to be re-tabled in 2015

December 22, 2014

On Tuesday 16 December, the European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans announced in Strasbourg the executive’s 2015 work programme. The Circular Economy package proposed earlier this summer and which includes rules on waste (including food waste), recycling, incineration, and landfill, was withdrawn from the European Commission’s new work programme.

As part of the Circular Economy package, the European Commission adopted in July 2014 a Communication and a legislative proposal to review recycling and other waste-related targets in the EU. This legislative proposal consists of six pieces of legislation: waste, packaging, landfill, end of life vehicles, batteries and accumulators, and waste electronic equipment. In particular, the draft legislation sets a 30% food waste reduction target for Member states between 1 January 2017 and 31 December 2025.

The Barosso Commission highlighted back in July that by achieving these revised targets, 180,000 new jobs would be created, while making Europe more competitive and reducing demand for costly scarce resources. Moreover, the adoption of the circular economy package overall would bring €600 billion net savings for EU businesses, while also reducing total annual greenhouse gas emissions. (1)

Despite these growth and job opportunities highlighted by the past Commission, the First Vice-President Frans Timmermans announced on Tuesday 16 December the withdrawal of the Circular Economy package from the executive’s work programme. The Commission cites the need to ensure that “the Circular Economy is approached in a circular way and not just half a way”, replacing the package with“new, more ambitious proposal” by the end of 2015. (2)

This unexpected decision has received a lot of criticism from a wide range of stakeholders and was unanimously opposed by the EU Environmental Ministers at their meeting on December 17th, following a letter from eleven Environment Ministers voicing their concern. Having recently attended the UN climate change talks in Lima, the Italian Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti highlighted that the withdrawal of the proposed legislation on circular economy would certainly not help Europe on the road to UN Climate Change Conference COP21 in Paris.(3)




Self-service fridges? Our future? Let’s ask the Lebensmittelretter.

December 22, 2014

Citizens of Berlin have come up with a great idea- a network of urban fridges in the city to be used by all. While they can be found in stores, some find it easier to access them on the roads. Why are they special? They give out surplus food 24/7 and in addition, they offer the element of surprise of never knowing what to find in there.

The way it works is that volunteers look for food which can still be consumed but which would have been discarded otherwise. The consumables are stored mostly in shops and other organizations that support the initiative and subsequently become accessible to the needy of the society.

We store and take whatever we want”, explains Der Tagesspiegel.

This initiative bears much resemblance to the French “Partage ton Frigo” which aims at finding solutions to facilitate the exchange of surplus food in the most pleasant manner so as to prevent food waste.

By providing an informal supermarket, open 24/7, to whoever needs it, the new self-service fridges are quickly gaining popularity. The fridges are currently being filled up to three times a day by citizens of all ages and even tourists. With over 1,700 volunteers in Berlin, and 8,000 across the whole of Germany, the Lebensmittelretter have been successful in consolidating a network of a thousand supermarkets and sharing their surplus food with shelters for the homeless.


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