Title FoRWaRd - Food Recovery and Waste Reduction
Project Number 527451-LLP-1-2012-1-IT-LEONARDO-LMP
Project Type Development of Innovation
Country EU-Centralised Projects
Marketing Text In Europe an estimated amount of 50% of the food produced is wasted, contributing to excess consumption of freshwater and fossil fuels which, along with methane and CO2 emissions from decomposing food, impacts global climate change. At the same time, nearly one billion people in the world are malnourished. This is simply unacceptable from a social, economic and environmental point of view. This project aims to develop a training pathway for managers and representatives of the food supply chain in order to provide them with the necessary skills to reduce the wastage of foodstuff. A simple solution will be devised to permit the natural match of demand and supply of unused food, involving organisations and voluntary groups which could easily recover all the wasted food and assure its re-use. In this way, the project will bring the food supply sector a step FoRWaRd in the efficiency of the order-supply-retail chain, so to reduce waste and improve social responsibility of economic actors.
Several organisations in Europe are active in the reduction of food waste: some of them work as consultant and get paid, others organise as volunteers the recovery of unsold food. However a training for managers and workers of the food supply sector on how to reduce and recovery food waste is totally missing. The food supply sector is in need of specific competencies to assure a better management of food resources, in terms of waste reduction, separation and recovery. Most part of the representatives of this sector are not aware of potential solutions to reduce waste and ignore that few simple steps can let the reduction and the re-use of their left-over and can be convenient for their business in terms of disposal costs reduction.
The FoRWaRd project intends to develop a free online training plan for representatives of the food supply sector, a practical guide to help them starting a food waste reduction and recovery program at their facilities in favour of charitable associations. Besides economic actors, the project wants to affect also charitable associations offering food services to people in need, who can act as recipient and collectors of unsold foodstuff. They will participate in the project with a double aim: (1) to create links between supply and demand of unsold food in order to organise an efficient recovery; (2) to train members of charitable associations to become managers of food waste, so that they can spend acquired skills to improve their services and work with the supply sector as recovery manager.
At the basis of the proposed activities there’s also the need to make known economic benefit of the proposed strategy: reduction of disposal costs, electricity costs, purchasing costs (buy only what is needed), reap tax deduction (in some country), increasing revenue from selling compost (for who may make it),etc. The professional figure of waste manager will be more and more in need in the future, due to the European strategy to improve the sustainability of the European society in all fields and waste is one of the most important.
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.
The majority of citizens is not aware of one of the most widespread problems affecting our economic system and model of consumption: the big quantity of foodstuffs wasted everyday within the production/supply chain and the households/consumer sector. The EC has funded a Preparatory study of food waste across the EU, which estimates that about 89 million tonnes of food is wasted per year or 179 kg per capita per year, and that food is wasted at all the levels of the food chain. The causes are very diverse, from the lack of awareness and cultural attitudes (especially at household and food/catering levels) to supply chain or stock management inefficiencies in the wholesale/retail sector, and including portion-sizing, misunderstanding of date labelling on food, waste of leftovers (in households and in the Food service sector), marketing strategies or standards, planning issues, lack of knowledge, etc. More worrisome are the consequences: food waste contributes to excess consumption of freshwater and fossil fuels which, along with methane and CO2 emissions from decomposing food, impacts global climate change. Most of wasted food goes to landfills, which emits a big quantity of methane, a greenhouse gas estimated to be 20 times worse for the atmosphere than carbon dioxide (Global Warming Potential by International Panel on Climate Change).
The FoRWaRd project intends to develop innovative training contents for the food supply sector in order to reduce the amount of food and beverage going to the garbage: such outcome is intended to promote high performance in the target field, in terms of waste reduction, efficient use of natural resources and social corporate responsibility. 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. In line with the provision “New skills for new jobs”, the project aims at promoting the integration of learning with working and a work-placed training specifically outlined on the food suppliers’ needs, as a basis for development of vocational skills relevant to the labour market.
Besides economic actors, the project wants to affect also charitable associations offering food services to people in need, who can act as recipient and collectors of unsold foodstuff. Therefore, the target group is twofold: a) the representatives of the food supply chain (such as agro-chain, manufacturing, supermarkets, the catering sector, hospitals, restaurants, food preparation companies, hotels) , b) NGOs and charitable associations. The two groups will benefit from the project because participants will be trained as food waste managers: they’ll be able to identify where and how waste is produced and the best solutions to reduce and collect it, saving money, pollution and time. While target group a) will directly exploit the acquired skills in their facilities/business, target group b) could also exploit such knowledge in order to work as “consultants” for food suppliers and/or to organise recovery systems in their territory.
The project will produce two main outputs: on one hand a training pathway for food suppliers and NGOs and charitable associations, on the other a food recovery simple IT solution. The foreseen training contents, together with the IT simple solution for food recovery, aims at promoting also the use of innovative tools to improve the target group personal development and work effectiveness. The fruibility of the outcomes by using an e-learning platform promotes the development of digital key competences and favours networking possibilities.
Open and distance learning
Water Supply; Sewerage, Waste Management and Remediation Activities
Activities of Households as Employers; Undifferentiated Goods- and Services-Producing Activities of Households for Own Use
Administrative and Support Service Activities
open and distance learning
material for open learning
FoRWaRd will develop a training for managers and workers of the food supply sector on how to reduce and recovery food waste, providing them the necessary skills and tools to work as waste managers in their facilities. Training modules will be designed in order to create a more attractive way to address adult learning possibilities. The innovative approach will produce a European e-learning product matching existing curricula in some countries with changing demands, new materials and international trends, checklist on what to pay attention to for each country involved, reflection on everyday practice, enriching it with visual elements and simulations.
Besides training activities, the project will offer a simple practical solution to allow the match of unsold food demand and supply, which can be used beyond the project lifetime. The goal is to promote an innovative modus operandi potentially transferable to other sectors and contexts, based on the active participation of citizens in a win-win training process which guarantees to:
• Pursue public interest, in terms of respect for laws and protection of the environment
• Purse private and economic interest, since the proposed strategy aims at reducing both disposal and purchasing costs
• Address the labour market needs, providing skills which become more and more important
• Develop a civic sense of responsibility and the value of solidarity
An e-learning platform will be created, likeable to provide together with specific skills in food management, also digital competences. The consortium will also try to make an effort in terms of innovation of vocational training practices and methodologies, especially for what concerns ICT-based learning practices. The contribution of an excellence training organisation experienced also in distant learning will be paramount.