Food waste on the agenda

Kick-off for the project COSUS - Consumers in a sustainable food supply chain: understanding barriers and facilitators for acceptance of visually suboptimal foods

2014.09.10 | Merete Elmann


In mid-September, the first kick-off meeting of the EU Era-net project COSUS (Consumers in a sustainable food supply chain: understanding barriers and facilitators for acceptance of visually suboptimal foods - www.susfood-era.net) took place in Denmark.

The three year project has a funding of 1,304,000 DKK from the strategic research council (DSF) for Jessica Aschemann-Witzel and Tino Bech-Larsen from the MAPP Centre.

First step is a review of the current state of research on consumer food waste behaviour and the relevant influence factors from the food sector environment, and expert interviews and case studies on successful societal initiatives. “We will develop a model of influence factors and gather information on the current state of the issue, to base the project´s further consumer research and experiments on” explains Jessica, and adds: “There are a lot of initiatives tackling the problem across Europe, which is why it´s high time to analyse the key to success or failure more in detail”.

MAPP already has experience with the topic of consumers and food waste through research by Violeta Stefan and Liisa Lähteenmäki (Avoiding food waste by Romanian consumers: The importance of planning and shopping routines) as well as Natascha Loebnitz (The impact of subjective and objective knowledge on consumers risk perceptions and evaluation of food shape abnormalities), and the centre is currently involved in yet another EU research proposal on the topic.

The European Parliament has earlier this year called for action against food waste, see Parliament calls for urgent measures to halve food wastage in the EU, dictating 2014 to be the ‘year against food waste’ and to halve food waste by 2025. Food waste can be expected to continue to be a topic of interest for the coming years for sure.

Responsible for COSUS is Jessica Aschemann-Witzel, jeaw@badm.au.dk.

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