Project Idea

THE PROJECT

The project intends to develop a free online training plan forrepresentatives of the food supply sector, a practical guide to helpthem starting a food waste reduction and recovery program at their facilities in favor of charitable associations.

The project aims at promoting the integration of learning with working, in line with the provision “New skills for new jobs”. In particular, there is a need for a massive recovery of food waste, given that food suppliers are not prepared to reduce food waste and they have to turn to consultants and external experts. The project wants to promote a work-placed training specifically outlined on their needs, as a basis for development of vocational skills relevant to the labor market.

Taking into consideration the European provisions concerning respect for the environment, GHG emissions reduction and waste management regulation, skills related to food waste recovery/reduction are destined to be crucial in the upcoming years, especially considering that the amount of general food waste in EU is projected to increase: that results in anticipation of skills needs of the labor market.

Specific objectives:

  • To identify common strategies to bridge the gap of the labor market skill needs in the field of waste reduction and re-use of unsold foodstuff
  • To train food suppliers in two directions: 1) how to reduce food waste, 2) how to recovery unsold and uneaten food. In brief, to train food waste managers
  • To create, thanks to ICT, a virtual space, where training contents will be available, enriched with visual elements and simulations
  • To give a practical simple solution to enable the natural matching of demand and supply of left-over foodstuff through an online platform
  • To train also representatives of the charitable association willing to take part in the recovery phase
  • To promote Corporate Social Responsibility in the European food supply sector.

It is expected that the project main result will be an improvement of the order-supply-recovery chain, which would lead to a change of some unsustainable commercial behaviour of the target group and, in turn, of the customers/consumers, a reduction of natural resources waste and disposal costs and indirectly a cut to GHG emissions and water consumption.

RATIONALE

The majority of citizens is not aware of one of the most widespread problems affecting oureconomic system and model of consumption: the big quantity of foodstuffs wasted everydaywithin the production/supply chain and the households/consumer sector.

The European Commission is now focusing its efforts to improve the environmentalsustainability of the food chain on food waste minimization and food packaging optimization (http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/sustainability/index_en.htm).

More worrisome are the consequences: food waste contributes to excess consumption offreshwater and fossil fuels which, along with methane and CO2 emissions from decomposingfood, impacts global climate change. Most of wasted food goes to landfills, which emits a bigquantity of methane, a greenhouse gas estimated to be 20 times worse for the atmospherethan carbon dioxide (Global Warming Potential by International Panel on Climate Change). Interms of GHG emissions, the study estimates the overall impact of food waste at 170 Mt CO2eq./year, i.e. 3% of total EU27 emissions in 2008.

Most part of the representatives of the food supply sector are not aware of potential solutionsto reduce waste and ignore that few simple steps can let the reduction and the re-use of theirleft-over and can be convenient for their business in terms of disposal costs reduction.

FoRWaRd aims to intervene in one specific link of the chain causing food waste, that of foodsupply: this sector is in need of specific competencies to assure a better management of foodresources, in terms of waste reduction, separation and recovery. Among the policyrecommendation of the Preparatory study, in fact, there are: awareness raising campaign,food waste prevention and collection programs.

TARGET GROUP

The project will produce two main outputs: on one hand a training pathway for food suppliersand NGOs and charitable associations, on the other a food recovery simple IT solution.

Also the target group is twofold: a) the representatives of the food supply chain (such as agrochain, manufacturing, supermarkets, the catering sector, hospitals, restaurants, foodpreparation companies, hotels), b) NGOs and charitable associations.

The two groups will benefit from the project because participants will be trained as food wastemanagers: they’ll be able to identify where and how waste is produced and the best solutionsto reduce and collect it, saving money, pollution and time.

While target group a) will directly exploit the acquired skills in their facilities/business, targetgroup b) could also exploit such knowledge in order to work as “consultants” for food suppliers and/or to organize recovery systems in their territory. A good practice of this field is that of Food Banks, represented by three member of the consortium.