Revolutionising Food Sustainability: Insights from 5 EU Projects🥕
Did you know? Approximately one-third of all food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted every year.
World Food Day is not merely a date on the calendar; it’s a call to action, a reminder that our relationship with food is deeply intertwined with the health of our planet and its people. In Europe, this day serves as a powerful platform to shed light on crucial issues like food loss and waste, sustainability, and safety. Join us as we explore how World Food Day can be leveraged to spark change and drive awareness in critical areas, as we get to know what other EU funded projects and initiatives are doing to tackle this issue.
Through the EU-funded project CLEVERFOOD, we are developing FOOD 2030 Networks to transform the food system. We aim to make it fair, sustainable and healthy and for that we need a transition towards a more circular and plant-based food system.
We are now making FOOD 2030 Networks operational and working on some resources to add on the platform (such as the public engagement toolkit).
We had an event on September 20th with 180+ participants and we are organising a side event during the FOOD 2030 conference in Brussels organised by the European Commission.
We are using our FOOD 2030 Online Platform to host our networks and an online community to foster discussions amongst food-system professionals. Visit it to know more!
COREnet supports the systematic development of more effective advising on Short Food Supply Chains (SFSC) through a pan-European peer-to-peer learning network for SFSC practitioners. The project key task is to develop an SFSC advisory network and support learning and sharing in partnership, consistent with the Agricultural Knowledge and Innovations System (AKIS). This seeks to bring research and practice together, to foster a partnership approach among SFSC stakeholders, to promote innovation across themes and borders, and to assist farmers to become more innovative, environmentally friendly and economically sustainable.
An EU-wide use of scientific knowledge through the SFSC advisory network.
Better inclusion of SFSCs in official AKIS to favour their up-scaling towards more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable food systems.
Consolidation of skills and the broadening of advisory services about SFSCs will benefit a larger diversity of end-users and SFSC sustainable models.
More SFSC-friendly policies and regulatory frameworks across EU-27.
In September, the COREnet project celebrated one year since its kick-off, bringing forth preliminary outputs to highlight. One of the most noteworthy accomplishments to date is the unveiling of the SFSC advisory database on the project website. This tool features an interactive map and a set of filters, enabling users to refine their searches by country, type (formal and informal), and sector (i.e. Production & processing, packaging). Continually enriched with advisors from across Europe, this database solidifies the CORENET project’s trajectory towards establishing an EU-wide and dynamic SFSC advisory network.
Upcoming events & activities
CORENET is actively engaged within the FOOD2030 network, a platform that aims to foster the collaboration and the dialogue among food-related EU projects.
CORENET and EU4ADVICE will co-organise a networking event on agrifood supply chains, innovations, and advising systems on October 25th in Brussels. This event will bring together European sister projects that share common topics and goals to stimulate and promote future cooperation and initiatives.
Newsletter in November
CULTIVATE: Co-designing food sharing innovation for resilience
CULTIVATE uses a multi-actor approach to build sustainability and resilience in urban and peri-urban areas through a ground-breaking online social innovation support platform – The Food Sharing Compass. Built with and for five key stakeholder groups – food sharing initiatives, policy makers, food supply actors, researchers, and citizens – the platform will make it possible to navigate diverse food sharing landscapes and cultures, in order to understand, develop, replicate, expand and strengthen sustainable food sharing in Europe, supporting the European Green Deal’s Action Plan, Food 2030, the Farm to Fork Strategy and the EU’s climate change ambitions. In essence, CULTIVATE will establish the EU as the global frontrunner in the development of resilient and inclusive food sharing economies, identifying drivers and implementation gaps and challenging existing theories and practices which currently constrain sustainable food sharing.
The CULTIVATE project is about to conclude its first year of life and is smoothly implementing its activities. The Food Sharing Dictionary is about to be released, an innovative tool which aspires to bolster comprehension and awareness regarding food sharing lexicon through a consistent set of terms and their multilingual translations. The “collation phase” of the project, with the initial gathering of data and the identification of the “Cultivators” (food sharing initiatives that operate in a sustainable and resilient way), is about to end, thus leaving room for the “activation phase”: here is where theory and practice will be mixed to implement the key tools of the Compass in the selected Hub locations.
Upcoming events & activities
CULTIVATE is actively engaged within the FOOD2030 network, a platform that aims to foster the collaboration and the dialogue among food-related EU projects.
The release of the Food Sharing Dictionary interactive PDF.
Agro2Circular is a EU project proposing innovative valorisation routes for agri-food wastes upcycling and circular economy development through high extraction yields, pure and stable bioactives for new food production, cosmetic and neutraceutical formulation, recyclable multilayer plastic and digital platform for product tracing and market prediction. The A2C approach will be tested in the Región de Murcia (Spain) and replicated in other two other EU countries (Italy and Lithuania), backed up by a circular business model and strong public engagement and co-creation processes, maximizing replicability and scalability.
Some technologies have already been scaled up (Multilayer plastic waste decontamination, delamination of multilayer plastic waste & aluminium removal, aluminium modification, production of plastic compounds), others are still under the process of scaling up (extraction & purification of valuable bioactives from fruits & vegetables, enzymatic recycling of PET&PE waste, optical sorting of plastic waste , PHBV and carotenoids production and bio-transformation of by-products to building blocks ). The works for the integration of the technologies to build the 10 demonstrator have already started. The beta version of the Data Integration System for the 3 value chains is available.
Upcoming events & activities
The project, together with its sister projects (CIRCULAR FOAM, EcoeFISHent, FRONTSH1P), will participate to:
SISTERS is a EU project proposing a set of systemic innovations addressed to reduce Food Loss & Waste generated at every stage of the Food Value Chain. For example, new tools for primary producers for promoting direct and Short Chain sales; new technological innovations in packaging for processors and retailers; and awareness campaigns for retailers and consumers on food loss and waste. SISTERS will be a key EU project addressing the problem in a holistic way, reducing Food Loss & Waste by 27.4% and CO2 emissions by around 20% in the case studies.
Main achievements of the SISTERS project in the last two years of progress:
Launch of the Short Chain Platform (Regioneo) app and website prototypewith 100 primary producers who will participate in the trial versions and selling direct produce in all available forms (ugly and/or regular fruits and vegetables). Fruit and vegetable producers still can apply to participate in the test phase.
Development of smart containers (Bulkboxes) and sensor kits for monitoring temperature and relative humidity during transportation and storage. First experiments for validation of the Bulkboxes and sensor kits performances with different fresh products (apples, peppers and mushrooms).
Selection of the best performance formulations to produce flexible and rigid biobased packaging and the first disintegration and biodegradation tests carried out with promising results.
Development of a questionnaire to investigate consumers’ views on food waste and their perceptions regarding bio-based packaging by Fondazione Edmund Mach (IT). The survey was translated into five languages and distributed across Europe gathering information from more than 1400 consumers.
Development of a comprehensive market analysis and exploitation plan to provide a detailed investigation into the characteristics of the markets in which the SISTERS innovations are going to be deployed.
World Food Day stands as a beacon of hope and a powerful catalyst for change. In Europe, it serves as a vital platform to address pressing issues like food loss and waste, sustainability, and safety. By taking concerted action, we can pave the way for a more nourished, sustainable, and secure future for all. Let’s seize this opportunity and be the change-makers our planet needs.
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