According to FAO, 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted each year worldwide, equivalent to more than 2.000 billion EUR; 1/3 of food production goes to waste and both in Developed and Developing Countries the amount of losses is similar (670m and 360m of tonnes respectively). According to a recent report, carried out by Politecnico di Milano, in Italy, the amount of foodstuff annually wasted is equivalent to 12.6 billion EUR. As far as domestic waste is concerned, in Italy it amounts to 6 billion EUR, about 4.5 EUR per family each week. Essentially, in Italy 85kg of foodstuff per capita are annually wasted.
It is generally recognized that food waste results in environmental, economic and social costs. Food losses and waste can occur at different level of the supply chain, from production to distribution, and final consumption.
LIFE-Food.Waste.StandUp Project was implemented in 2016-2019 and was in line with the Waste Prevention Italian National Programme (PNPR), Food Waste Prevention Italian National Programme (PINPAS) and “Working Group on food losses and waste” at European level. Through communication and information activities designed for selected targets, this project contributed to and influenced an ongoing process, enhanced by the approval of Italian Law 166/2016 on food waste, effective from September 14th 2016.
The project envisaged a series of shared actions of partners and the involvement of activities for external parties, such as:
- Cross-cutting and interdisciplinary discussion meetings among stakeholders (institutions, science & technology communities, industry, GDO, consumers, etc.);
- Disclosure information meetings, with scheduling of promotional events such as the LIFE-Food.Waste.StandUp roadshow and of initiatives hosted by major events, such as CIBUS 2018, the third edition of Sector Sustainability Report (BSS – Bilancio di Sostenibilità di Settore) of Mass and Modern Distribution and events such as “Cose da non credere” and “Premio Dona”;
- Awareness-raising initiatives for consumers, agri-food and retail companies alike;
- Initiatives to promote food waste reduction within companies, including, for example the training of 200 agri-food companies and the creation of technical Guidelines for food surplus management for agri-food companies and retail companies;
- Dissemination activities at a European level, such as a dissemination tour in some European cities where organisation similar to Banco Alimentare (food banks) are present.
With a total budget of € 1.571.100, LIFE-Food.Waste.StandUp Project focused on food waste prevention & reduction, and on unsold food recovery, issues of extraordinary social and environmental importance. The initiative is supported by excellent Italian partners of the sector: Federalimentare (lead partner), Federdistribuzione, Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus, Unione Nazionale Consumatori.