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Hutton research contributes to project focused on reducing food loss and waste across Europe

Food waste
“The project is built upon the results of previous research and innovation development activities carried out by consortium partners, providing a solid basis of knowledge to support improvements in the innovations”

A €5.5m research project involving 27 members from 12 European countries including James Hutton Institute scientists has been formed with the aim of reducing food losses and waste across Europe. The Lowinfood project, funded by the European Commission within the Horizon 2020 programme and led by Tuscia University (Italy), will deploy, and implement innovative solutions for the food waste at all stages of the food value chain.

The James Hutton Institute will contribute to the project through the expertise of four researchers, two agricultural and applied economists and two social scientists in agricultural innovation and people-environment studies from the Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences department.

Food losses and waste are estimated to amount to 88 million tonnes per year in Europe, corresponding to about 20% of the total food produced. During the 4-year-long project, Lowinfood will be validating and demonstrating the capacity to reduce food losses and waste through 14 prototypes already developed by other partners in the fruit & vegetable, bakery, and fish value chains.

Clara Cicatiello, Assistant Professor in Agricultural Economics at Tuscia University and project manager of Lowinfood said: “The project is built upon the results of previous research and innovation development activities carried out by consortium partners, providing a solid basis of knowledge to support improvements in the innovations”.

The objective is to demonstrate and upscale these prototypes to allow market replication. The European Union establishes a scale, the TRL (Technology Readiness Level), to estimate the maturity of developing technologies. Lowinfood will improve the TRL of all the 14 innovations, including technological tools and devices as well as organisational and managerial solutions, to bring them closer to market and foster their adoption across value chains in several EU countries.

Hutton researchers will focus on two aspects of the project, the first will evaluate the economic and social impact by gathering information from all supply chains studied to evaluate the costs and benefits of the innovations demonstrated.  The second point will examine Innovations to prevent and reduce fish losses and waste. They aim to do this by promoting a dialogue between stakeholders at different levels of the supply chain and assessing the benefits of a B2B digital market to put in contact firms with a surplus and a related demand. Zero Waste Scotland, Fisheries Innovation Scotland, and the Canadian start-up Sedna Technologies have declared their interest for the Lowinfood project and will also be involved in these activities to generate positive collaborations.

The innovations considered in the project range from technological solutions, to social, managerial and organisational innovations. The vegetable, bakery and fish value chains are selected as settings in which to apply the innovations as these perishable foods are particularly affected by the issue of food waste; for each value chain, the upstream stages are considered in the demonstration of the innovations, ranging from production to retailing. Another set of innovations is applied at consumer level with the aim of preventing food waste in out-of-home and at-home consumption.

The project which held its first meeting on 2-3 December will use the evidence gathered regarding the efficacy of innovations to develop strategies for disseminating them across European food value chains, and for building a set of policy guidelines to support this dissemination.

For more information about Lowinfood, visit the project website.

The Lowinfood consortium

The Lowinfood consortium includes 9 research partners, 8 start-ups and companies providing the innovations, 7 companies and associations working in the food sector, 2 public institutions and 1 partner dedicated to communications and dissemination:

Research partners

  • Università degli Studi della Tuscia (Coordinator), Italy
  • Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, Italy
  • Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet, Sweden
  • Fachhochschule Münster, Germany
  • The James Hutton Institute, UK
  • Universität für Bodenkultur Wien, Austria
  • Tampere University, Finland
  • Harokopio University, Greece
  • Österreichisches Ökologie-Institut, Austria

Partners providing innovations:

  • Matomatic AB, Sweden
  • Foresightee BV, Belgium
  • Leroma GmbH, Germany
  • Mitakus analytics UG, Germany
  • Kitro SA, Switzerland
  • CogZum Bulgaria OOD, Bulgaria
  • Recuperiamo srl, Italy
  • Antegon GmbH (FoodTracks), Germany

Partners belonging to food sectors:

  • Unverschwendet GmbH, Austria
  • Akademie Deutsches Bäckerhandwerk Nord GmbH, Germany
  • Pianeta Cospea srl, Italy
  • CNA Associazione di Viterbo e Civitavecchia, Italy
  • Assemblée des Régions Europeéennes Fruitiéres, Légumières et Horticoles, France
  • L.V.L.AE Blue Meltemi Hotel and Spa, Greece
  • Iridanos Inambelos SA Thalassa Hotel, Greece

Public institutions:

  • Regione Emilia-Romagna, Italy
  • Uppsala Kommun, Sweden

Communication partner:

  • Elhuyar, Spain

Press and media enquiries: 

Adam Walker, Communications Officer, Tel:01224 395095 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard)

Printed from /news/hutton-research-contributes-project-focused-reducing-food-loss-and-waste-across-europe on 13/04/24 02:09:18 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.