Project summary

The ECOWASTE4FOOD project brings together seven local and regional authorities from seven countries throughout Europe. Its ambition is to address the crucial issue of food waste, not only to stop an unacceptable situation which causes the loss of up to 50% of the agricultural production that keeps not consumed or is consumed in a wrong way regarding health concerns, but also to demonstrate that food waste could be at source of a resource efficient and environmentally friendly economy for the territories.


from 1 Jan 2017
to 31 Dec 2020

Environment and resource efficiency

Working together to reduce food waste

Local and regional authorities partners of the project are convinced of that and they work together, exchanging their experiences and learning from each other, to promote in their territories eco-innovations to reduce food waste, as a way to move toward a smart sustainable and inclusive growth. Within each participating territory, a group of local stakeholders will be actively involved in the selection of good practice to be transferred and in the validation of the action plan to be implemented during the two last years. These public authorities have committed themselves to improve their own policies during the four years duration of the project, in particular by influencing or even by raising existing ERDF funds within their regional operational programme 2014-2020 or equivalent.

More generally, ECOWASTE4FOOD project is expected to provide valuable inputs for the debate on the future priorities of development of these territories to be discussed as of 2019.


What policy instruments does the project address?

The main objective of the ROP is to improve economic competitiveness and social cohesion within the Wielkopolska region. In this ROP, the two Thematic Objectives (TO 1 and TO 3) have been put together under a Priority Axis 1 "Innovative and competitive economy". The primary reason for this is that there are very close links between support for research, technology development and innovation and increase in the competitiveness of the SME sector. In the current socio-economic situation of the Wielkopolska region the further development of its economy is primarily dependent on just the ability to support R & D and innovation, aimed at simultaneously improving conditions for business operations.


Under the priority axis 1, the investment priorities concerned by the project will be:

- TO01/Strengthening research, technological development and Innovation, IP1b/Promoting investment in research and innovation, developing links and synergies between businesses, research centers and higher education sector, in particular the promotion of […] eco-innovation […]

- TO03/Strengthening the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises, IP3a/Promoting entrepreneurship, in particular by facilitating the economic exploitation of new ideas and fostering the creation of new firms [...]


The project will address the need for an action plan increasing the number of projects in the area of "Biomaterials and food for conscious consumers" of theRegional Innovation Strategy.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Wielkopolska Region with the seat of the Marshal Office of the Wielkopolska Region in Poznan

The ROP of RWM aims to boost economic development and create job opportunities in West Macedonia. It should create jobs and help SMEs to become more competitive and innovation-driven. In this regard, the main investment priority addressed by the project will be, under the Axis 3, the IP 3a with the specific action to "Supporting regional SMEs through improved governance for developing food security actions".

The main objective of the ROP–Axis 3 is to increase the competitiveness of SMEs through actions proposed by the RIS3 plan. The Action Plan provided at the end of phase I will include activities under the IP3a that will combine the project objectives & lessons learnt with the regional strategy on RIS3 food sector related to SME’s support & funding.


The region faces a 60 years lack of entrepreneurial culture due to the mono-industrial heritage of lignite exploitation. As RWM is entering the post-lignite era, the region should enhance the effectiveness of SMEs development plans and regional policy instrument improvement is under a strong political commitment. Among other sectors, a focus on food waste reduction could help reposition existing initiatives as pieces of a coherent territorial strategy based on food security to promote the economic attractiveness of the region, and, taking consideration of the environment challenges and the depletion of natural resources, to manage and develop the territory in a sustainable way with the support of ecofriendly and secure SMEs.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Regional Development Fund on behalf of the Region of Western Macedonia

The City Strategic Plan (CSP) is the main policy instrument for city government. It is a triennial documents and has 4 axis:

1. Administration (i.e. efficiency and transparency of city administrative services, human and financial resources);

2. Citizens (i.e. welfare, schools, sport, security, youth, culture)

3. Economy (trade, tourism, promotion of new industrial sites in the former chemical plant area, creative industries)

4. Urban Planning


The priority axis addressed by the project is the PA 3 - Economy which sets 6 objectives:

1. Promotion of trade and handcraft in the UNESCO city centre;

2. Promotion of tourism;

3. Safeguarding environmental sustainability within the chemical plants adjacent to the city centre;

4. Promotion of Creative Fab Lab, data center, technological transfer;

5. Promotion of agriculture;

6. Promotion of networking and simplify bureaucracy.


Priority Axis 3 of the CSP 2016-2019 provides support mainly for players active in the field of culture (objectives 1, 2 & 4).

It does not take into account the great potential that ecoinnovation might have for city development. The City does support some actions in the field of resource efficiency (e.g. food waste, green growth, ecoinnovation) but it does so without embedding it in a strategic framework. Support in this field are mainly occasional and without a strategic vision. Such specific priority should be foreseen.

Which partners are working on this?
  • City of Ferrara

The Government of Catalonia considers that the green economy and the efficient use of resources go hand in hand both for the competitiveness of the business sector and for the people's quality of life and well-being. Thus, the Catalonia Operational Programme (OP) 2014-2020 focuses on four main priorities areas: knowledge and innovation (41%), enhancing SME's competitiveness (19 %), facilitate transition towards a low carbon economy (16%) and preserving/protecting the environment and promoting resource efficiency (16%). Among the investment priorities and axis, three will be specially addressed by the project: 1(b), 3(a) and the prioritary axis 6, under which the investment priority 6(g) is still not addressed as a driver for the regional development.

The goal of the EcoWaste4Food project is to help partners to better address the reduction of food waste through eco-innovation, as part of a more global territorial strategy for food security. The current levels of generation (and, therefore, prevention) of food wastage in Catalonia highlight the need to promote innovative actions and to establish more strategical action plans regarding this issue.This will be achieved through the identification of best practices and the definition of an AP which enables the achievement of theses goals. The project will therefore clearly contribute to improving the results of the objectives of our OP, since it has a strong impact on the efficiency of resource management through waste prevention.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Waste Agency of Catalonia (ARC)

There are two main priorities in the OP : (i) Producing and utilising new knowledge and skills and (ii) Competitiveness of SMEs and the project will address the first one, refering to the thematic Objective 1.2.1. According to this objective, the National and International Food Systems Innovation Cluster of South Ostrobothnia will be strengthened and there is a target that South Ostrobothnia will develop the smart use of ingredients and materials in food system and support the creation of new product innovations involving a high level of processing. This objective covers the sustainable and efficient elements of the regional Food Systems from primary production to consumer experience.


Although there is a strong regional interest to develop the food systems in South Ostrobothnia, and there already are significant food companies in the region, practical development actions still need to be made to involve the different sectors in the development work and interregional cooperation will help developing smart use of ingredients and material in food system. By this project and because processingg secure, healthy, innovative and environmentally friendly products by utilizing the resources efficiently through innovative development is a great opportunity for the companies in the region and in whole Europe, South Ostrobothnia seeks to find international examples of bringing food innovation and efficient use of ingredients to companies.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Regional Council of South Ostrobothnia

The ROP of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur contributes to the EU strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth for achieving economic, social and territorial cohesion with 36.8% of the funds dedicated to the thematic objectives 1 and 3, under the priority axis 1. This ROP meets the expectations of several strategic orientations adopted by the Region of which two are particularly in line with the project: (i) “Generate added value and employment by the Strategic Activity Fields (one of these fields being dedicated to Health and Nutrition), (ii) Promoting a sustainable growth by preserving and using at best our resources.


Taking the resource efficiency as a deep concern, the project will address mainly the priority investment 3.d (Supporting the capacity of SMEs to engage in innovation processes) under the axis 1, being in coherence with the current ROP and with the goal to reshape it. The indicative activities that could be supported under this IP relat to marketing, design, intellectual property, commercial performance management, with eco-innovation taken in a wide comprehension, from the technologic one up to the innovative practices.


The project gives an opportunity to widen the entry for addressing resource efficiency and eco-innovation by integrating new topics such as food waste as deep concerns for a better sustainability of the development, this approach paving the way for the promotion of circular economy which is not addressed in the current ROP.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur

The Programme, which is a national one, focuses on growth, within the core objectives of innovation, SME competitiveness and the low carbon economy. Under the priority axis 6, the project will address the IP 6(f) "Promoting innovative technologies to improve environmental protection and resource efficiency in the waste sector, water sector and with regard to soil, or to reduce air pollution" which aims at helping businesses optimise the use of resources in ways that improve business performance in terms of resilience, profitability and competitiveness while at the same time contributing to the protection and preservation of the environment, through the promotion of eco-innovative initiatives to reduce food waste.

With an agricultural history, Devon County enjoys both a strong local food sector and a wide range of landscapes very attractive for tourism. In this regard, DCC would like to improve the capacity of the OP to promote resource efficient economy mobilising an important sector of its economy, the food sector. Regarding the national character of the OP, the aims is also to contribute to embed best practices into national policies/legislation.

Which partners are working on this?
  • Devon County Council