Reducing food waste in Europe

REFRESH and EU logos"Resource Efficient Food and dRink for the Entire Supply cHain" (REFRESH) is an EU research project taking action against food waste. 26 partners from 12 European countries and China work towards the project's goal to contribute towards Sustainable Development Goal 12.3 of halving per capita food waste at the retail and consumer level and reducing food losses along production and supply chains, reducing waste management costs, and maximizing the value from un-avoidable food waste and packaging materials.

WRAP is a contributing partner in REFRESH which runs for 4 years from July 2015 - June 2019.  It is funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme of the European Union under Grant Agreement no. 641933.

REFRESH has 26 partners from 12 European countries and China. These include leading universities, research institutes, private businesses, governments, civil society and other stakeholders.

The project takes an innovative, systemic approach to curb food waste through a holistic "Framework for Action". REFRESH builds on and goes beyond existing initiatives to develop, evaluate, and ensure the spread of social, technological, and organisational insights and practices related to food waste. This is underpinned with guidance to legislators and policy makers to help support effective governance to tackle food waste. 

A “Framework for Action” is a collaboratively agreed, self-determined ‘pact’ to take action on food waste and packaging materials generated at different stages of the food system – similar to WRAP’s Courtauld Commitment.


The project aims to:

  • Develop strategic agreements to reduce food waste with governments, business and local stakeholders in four pilot countries (Spain, Germany, Hungary and the Netherlands). A call for pilots will be issued for the business community and other stakeholders to participate in testing new approaches to reduce food waste and replicate these approaches into other countries.
  • Formulate EU policy recommendations and support national implementation of food waste policy frameworks.
  • Design and develop technological innovations to improve valorisation of food waste, e.g. from food processing, and ICT-based platforms and tools to support new and existing solutions to reduce food waste.

For more information

Subscribe to the REFRESH newsletter and join the Community of Experts.

Visit the REFRESH website, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter @EUREFRESH.

If you would like additional information about REFRESH, please contact:

Coordinator: Toine Timmermans or Hilke Bos-Brouwers, Wageningen UR (Netherlands).

National partner: Kate Bygrave, WRAP.