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How to take up the challenge of social food transfer from caterings and other kinds of provisioning?
Food waste presents major environmental and social impacts on a global level. The share of total waste produced is distributed almost equally amongst the parties along the whole value chain. In lower developed countries the main part arises in agriculture, storage and transport whereas in industrial countries the main part arises in retailing, gastronomy and private households. Food, that does not reach the customer or is not used for its origin purpose, not only means inefficient use of natural resources but also creates major environmental impact at different stages of the production chain, all in vain.
Individual behaviour is a major reason for food waste at the consumer level while more organisational and structural reasons account for the share of food waste in gastronomy and other forms of external food provisions and services. Insufficient purchase planning and storage management, over dimensioned offers at caterings or too big serving sizes on the plates and lack of communication as well as information are only some reasons to mention in this respect.
While passing on food items between retailers, producers and charitable institutions has successfully been established in Vienna, there is much potential in gastronomy and catering business. Due to the condition of the processed food and dishes and the associated food security concerns and logistic matters passing on and usage of valuable leftover food has been hampered and thus not widely established so far.
Methodology To fill the gap, passing on food from gastronomy or other external provision services like business or care caterings should be fostered by developing a practical service concept for a successful implementation with local actors in Vienna. The potential of food which is suitable for passing on will be identified and the co-developed service concept will be tested and optimized within the established network of partners by performing two pilot actions.
Results • Knowledge concerning the potential of food suitable for passing on • Proofed service concept for an optimized course of action and practical instructions concerning communication and logistics • Established network of catering facilities, gastronomy enterprises, socio-economic organisations and other NGOS which pass on food for people in need • Reduction of food waste deriving from caterings and gastronomy via food transfer to charitable institutions
The project is located in Vienna and the co-developed service concept will be tested with local partners and should be transferable on other regions and partners also. The consortium consists of the Austrian Institute of Ecology, the Arbeiter-Samariterbund-Österreich and Cateringsolutions GmbH and cooperation will be set up with five catering and gastronomy companies for the testing phase. External support will be delivered by experts on food safety and the experiences made will be shared with interested parties in order to push the implementation of the tested and optimized service concept.
Within the proposed dialogue session the project findings will be presented and a discussion about how the main challenges regarding food safety, convenience, logistics and financing such a service concept could be taken up in a successful manner.
Keywords: food waste, caterings, service concept, social transfer