A look back: FUSIONS progress and achievements halfway through the project

September 1, 2014

Two years into the project, FUSIONS is at its halfway point, and considerable progress has been made in exploring avenues for reducing food waste via quantification, policy, stakeholder engagement, social innovation and awareness-raising.

Several key publications related to food waste quantification have been produced by the FUSIONS team, including two reviews on methodologies for collecting data on food waste, with an extensive inventory of food waste causes, future threats of increase, and opportunities for reduction in the works. Most recently, a long-awaited definitional framework for food waste was proposed, aiming to help streamline food waste quantification and data gathering across the EU.

In parallel, the team has been investigating the role of policy in driving food waste reduction, compiling information on existing EU- and national-level food waste reduction policies across Europe. Further work on, among others, policy scenarios and indicators and criteria for evaluating food waste reduction policy, will allow the team to build towards producing recommendations for common EU policies targeting food waste reduction.

With social innovation at the core of its approach, FUSIONS has launched eight feasibility studies to demonstrate the role that social innovation can play in food waste reduction. The feasibility studies are currently under way, and outcomes to be shared through an evaluation report in 2015.

FUSIONS has attracted significant attention through direct stakeholder involvement as well as diverse dissemination activities. 160+ organisations have already pledged their commitment to reducing food waste as Platform Members, and many have attended project events, including four annual Regional Platform Meetings, as well as the annual European Platform Meeting. FUSIONS held a Social Innovation Camp in April 2014, which discussed ways in which policy can support efforts to reduce food waste through social innovation. FUSIONS is present at many external events, including high-level conferences, forums and workshops involving a range of stakeholders across the value chain. Finally, FUSIONS is of course very active on social media and its own website, enabling interested stakeholders to keep up with project activities and related news.

With a fruitful two years gone by, the project team is excited to continue working towards the project’s objectives over the following two years.

New definitional framework of food waste proposed by European FUSIONS project

September 1, 2014

The FUSIONS framework for defining food waste was published on 3 July 2014. The definition aims to support the streamlining of food waste quantification and data gathering across Europe. The framework also defined all resource flows in the food supply chain.

If used consistently, the definition should lead to a clear understanding of where food waste arises and how it is being managed at all stages of the food supply chain and across the EU28. It would also allow for the comparability of data and successful progress measurement for both resource efficiency and food security goals.

FUSIONS defines food waste as any food, and inedible parts of food, removed from the food supply chain to be recovered or disposed (including - composted, crops ploughed in/not harvested, anaerobic digestion, bioenergy production, co-generation, incineration, disposal to sewer, landfill or discarded to sea).

The definition covers both food and drink waste, and hence both solid and liquid disposal routes. Where possible, the edible and inedible fraction should be separately analysed or estimated, but including inedible parts of food within the framework is key to ensuring that it is practical to use and that it allows users to track and optimise resource efficiency.

The definition will serve as a basis for further methodological work in FUSIONS, in particular the development of a Food Waste Quantification Manual, providing EU Member States with a consistent methodology for measuring food waste.

All reports can be downloaded here: www.eu-fusions.org/publications

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 311972.
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