Devon takes a bite out of food waste

Posted on: 24 February 2017

Devon County Council has joined forces with local and regional authorities across six other European countries on a new four year research project, aimed at reducing the amount of food waste in the supply chain.

The project, called ECOWASTE4FOOD, is funded by the Interreg Europe programme and includes authorities from France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Finland and Poland.

The first two years of the project will involve research to discover and share best practice and innovations for reducing food waste in each of the partner countries.

The second half of the project will be about implementing some of these ideas as well as influencing future UK and European policy.

The project in Devon will be led by a stakeholder group made up of the county’s key food producers and distributers. These will include  organisations that redistribute surplus food to those in need, such as foodbanks.

The stakeholder group will shortly be decided on and any organisations and projects that are keen to be part of the conversation about how to reduce food waste and are interested in innovative solutions are invited to contact Devon County Council.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment said:  “Devon has a strong tradition as a food growing and producing county.  Reducing supply chain food waste will be both good for the environment as well as business productivity and also has the potential to redirect good nutrition to where it is most needed.

“If you or your organisation are interested in this significant research project, want to know more about how to reduce food waste and are interested in sharing and learning from best practice then the project team would be delighted to hear from you.”

Annette Dentith, Devon County Council’s Principal Waste Manager who is managing the project, said:

“This is an exciting opportunity for Devon to make some real headway in addressing the issue of reducing food waste amongst businesses and households.

“Food waste is a global issue – across the world around one third of the food produced doesn’t make it onto the plate which, with growing populations and increasing water and land scarcity will only become a more urgent problem to solve.”

To find out more about the project and to get involved, please contact Emma Croft at emma.croft@devon.gov.uk

1 comment on “Devon takes a bite out of food waste

  1. Mary Harding says:

    It is important to look at reducing food waste in a joined up way. Being one of the ageing population which seems to be the cause of so much trouble, may I suggest that you look at the ageing population to help in reducing food waste.

    We have been through a lot. We brought up families before the cloudburst of easy credit. Many of us are widowed and living on our own.

    It has been stated before, but obviously needs to keep on being said, that those on their own, be they young or old, do not need to buy large quantities of perishable foods. The supermarkets continue to sell fruit, vegetables, meat and fish in sealed packs. If they can sell fresh rolls singly should other commodities not be able to be sold like that too?

    This simple measure would 1) cut down on packaging and therefore rubbish to landfill, 2) cut down on having to overbuy food leading to discarding of overripe or fading fruit and vegetables, 3) reduce food bills in a time when austerity is hitting, 4) reduce recourse to food banks because of (3) , and 4) probably lead to healthier eating habits in the population. Obesity might even be reduced as the need to eat up what’s going over is reduced – and obesity is another of the bogeymen of our age.

    A simple remedy with so many benefits. A no brainer if you ask me.

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