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Transnational project to combat food waste launched by the PLUS

26 March 2024
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A new, innovative EU project to combat food waste has been launched at the Department of Business of the Paris Lodron University of Salzburg (PLUS). The transnational project between Austria and Italy will run for 26 months.

The main objective of FOODIS is to create a collaborative cross-border ecosystem to achieve a smart, sustainable and inclusive transition of food value chains. Businesses in the two regions involved in the project - Friuli Venezia Giulia (Italy) and Carinthia (Austria) - will be supported in their cross-border operations through shared advisory services, skills and modern logistics structures, enabling them to access new European markets.

The planned ecosystem will be tested within the project through two pilot actions, one led and implemented by Carinthia and one by Friuli Venezia Giulia, aimed at supporting sustainable and traded supply chains.

A new digital platform for the collection, collective transport and sustainable storage of expired food and food waste no longer considered suitable for sale will also be developed.

It will show how goods can be upgraded in innovative ways and recycled into new products, which will help promote circular business models (e.g. processing fruit and vegetables into new food products such as fruit and vegetable juices or fruit and vegetable spreads).

The context 

In the EU, around 20% of food is wasted. In Austria alone, 791,000 tonnes of avoidable food waste is generated every year, most of it in private households, gastronomy and production. In the state of Carinthia, 25 kilograms of food per person ends up in landfill every year. 27 percent of these are still usable fruits and vegetables. At the same time, millions of people around the world are starving.

By 2030, these figures must be halved in retail and domestic consumption, as one of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals is to minimise food waste worldwide. It is essential to promote the circular economy in all sectors and industries. Economy, innovation, sustainability and, at the same time, solidarity should be combined within the framework of efficient resource management. In the area of food supply chains, for example, this means that before food is thrown away, other, more sensible alternatives such as reuse and recycling should be explored.

Ultimately, the plan is to create a replicable model of a shared ecosystem at a cross-border level. The ecosystem will support companies in the food and logistics sector by systematising skills and services. For Carinthia, this means that the important regional food industry will gain more visibility and new sales opportunities can be created.

In this cross-border cooperation project, financed with 900.000 EUR, Carinthia and Friuli Venezia Giulia are pooling their knowledge in the fields of agriculture, IT, logistics, transformation and food security.

The original full story can be found on PLUS's website.