REFRESH: reducing food waste

REFRESH was an EU research and innovation project funded through the Horizon 2020 programme (EC nr. 641933). The REFRESH project contributed to the aim of achieving a 30% reduction in food waste in Europe by 2025, and of extracting maximum value from unavoidable food waste and packaging materials. A comprehensive Framework for Action was developed based on strategic agreements across the entire supply chain, creating a pathway to a safer and more sustainable European food system. This will deliver economic, environmental and social benefits throughout Europe (H2020 / EC Circular Economy Package).

The objective for Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, as a participant within REFRESH, was to facilitate action within food and biomass resource systems to bridge the gap between science and impact. By connecting applied research into consumer behaviour with supply chain management and valorisation of food waste and packaging resources, the project was a driver of sustainable change in the food system. It also improved our data analysis and modelling expertise, as well as our strategic position within strong networks of relevant stakeholders across Europe.

REFRESH next steps

Through the REFRESH Frameworks for Action, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research is the innovation partner for sustainable growth, collaborating with front-runners, innovative SMEs, and partners in the private sector and civil society.

Wageningen Food & Biobased Research was the coordinator for the REFRESH project, positioning the Netherlands as one of the four pilot countries within the project. From the perspective of WFBR, food waste in Europe could be reduced by half through the development of an EU-wide network of national multi-stakeholder ecosystems to adopt the results and insights generated by REFRESH. As part of that, it is essential to accelerate and expand scalable innovations for the structural prevention of food waste. Harmonisation is important too, both for quantifying food waste and for the development of integrated policies to remove barriers and to create appropriate incentives for businesses and consumers.

Outcomes of REFRESH

Read about the REFRESH Outcomes in the brochure

Download the simulation tool

This demo provides a simple explanation of how small changes can have a major impact on food waste. It also shows the influence of consumer behaviour on food waste. You can test different scenarios and select the best solution for your company. Want to know how a simulation could help your company prevent waste? Get in touch with our expert.