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Food Waste in the European Food Supply Chain: Challenges and Opportunities

Location Athens, Greece
Date 12 - 13 May 2014
Calendar file .vcs  .ics

The problem of food wastage has attracted considerable public attention in recent years, as did the resolution adopted on the subject by the European Parliament on 19 January 2012 (2011/2175(INI). Declaring 2014 the European Year against Food Waste, as proposed by the European Parliament, will not only give strong support to the reduction of food waste, but also raise public awareness on the issue in which COST is playing a significant role in the research arena by connecting high quality scientific communities throughout Europe and worldwide, however COST, also facilitates the information flow between researchers, policy makers, regulatory bodies, decision makers and industry. Consequently, a strategic activity on Food Waste was a natural role for COST.

The main focus of this workshop was the valorisation of what is presently defined by FAO (2013) as food wastages. Minimising food wastages may be handled by two main routes: i. reduction of avoidable losses across the supply chain and; ii. valorisation of unavoidable losses. In this COST strategic workshop, leading representatives of science and the rapidly evolving “green” industry got together, with stakeholders of the present “Food Industry” and authorities, to explore the possibilities of “secondary harvest” and “recycling” of food wastages. i.e. knowledge-driven valorisation and “Green” growth based on organic side flows of the present food system. This was to be achieved by:

  • A) Discussion and knowledge-exchange of ideas and current activities via plenary lectures and presentations of success cases as well as SME/industry/science broker meetings. The plenary lectures and a conclusion will be published in the scientific journal “Food Security”.
  • B) Formulation of a roadmap and policy brief for the Commission leading towards a food wastages bio-based economy stemming from  a high-level “Round Table”

This workshop was a major attempt at pan-European level to expand the issue of the three “Rs” (reduce, reuse and recycle) to the area of recycle and co-utilisation of food wastages. For example, one could see such approach as combining a primary and secondary harvest, in cases where the food and non-food compartment of the same production is utilized, while recycle may be the case where the waste becomes a source in food production again. The intent of the workshop was to explore these routes of food wastages from an EU and business opportunity aspect.

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Call for Expression of Interest

Call for Expression of Interest (CLOSED)

A Call for Expression of Interest was proposed if you wanted to present a poster at the Strategic Workshop. Submission deadline was Monday, 17 March 2014. This Call is now closed.

Organising Committee

Prof. James Clark, Chair, COST Action TD1203

Prof. Elena Ibañez Ezequiel, DC Rapporteur, COST Action FA1101

Prof. Anders Kiessling, Chair, COST Action FA 867; DC Rapporteurs, COST Action FA0801, FA1004 & 1301; MC Member Norway, COST Action FA925

Prof. Viktor Nedovic, MC Member Serbia, COST Action FA0907, FA1001; DC Rapporteur, COST Action FA1104

Prof. Dov Prusky, DC Member Israel, COST Action FA864; DC Rapporteur, COST Action FA0806, FA1106, FA1204 & FA1208

Prof. José J. Pueyo, Chair, COST Food & Agriculture (FA) Domain Committee

Dr Ioanna Stravridou, Science Officer Food and Agriculture, COST