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EU logo with the text Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.
YhteyshenkilöAnna-Maria Saarela
KuvausThe objective of Waste to Worth W2W is to PROVIDE TAILORED SUPPORTS for VET bodies, food SMEs, bio-economy stakeholders & regional/agricultural agencies to INCREASE AWARENESS of the impact of food waste on the environment & economy, specifically for food SMEs. By creating awareness & ultimately a mapping of avoidable waste within food SMEs, we will ENCOURAGE INNOVATIVE THINKING into how they, by COLLABORATING IN A CIRCULAR WAY in the wider community, can better use these wastes creating worth & economic gain.
KehittämistarveFood waste is a significant problem in the European Union (EU) with ~88 million tons of food wasted annually. The issue not only has environmental & economic consequences, but food waste is a major contributor to food insecurity in the EU. According to a report published by the European Commission in 2019, SMEs in the food & drink sector account for ~42% of the total food waste generated in the EU. This translates to ~47million tons of food waste per year. The report also highlights that the majority of this waste (88%) is avoidable & could have been prevented with better management practices. The report emphasizes the need for SMEs to adopt sustainable practices and reduce food waste to address this issue.

Food SMEs are essential players in the food sector, contributing significantly to the economy & creating employment opportunities. However, food SMEs face various challenges, including the issue of food waste, which affects their bottom line and contributes to environmental degradation. The EU has set a target to reduce food waste by 30% by 2025. This is in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, which aims to half per capita global food waste at the retail & consumer levels, and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, by 2030. In addition, the EU has implemented policies such as the "Farm to Fork" strategy and the "Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture" strategy, which aim to promote sustainable food production and consumption. This includes initiatives such as supporting organic farming, promoting local food systems, and encouraging the development of circular and bio-economies. Identifying and valorising waste will become a key asset for Europe’s socio-economic recovery and resilience as it contributes to protecting biodiversity, sustainable local development, sustainable food production, social cohesion, and economic viability.

A report published by the European Commission in 2019, estimates that the cost of food waste to the EU economy is ~€143 billion/year. This includes the costs associated with production, distribution, and disposal, as well as the economic value of the food that is lost or wasted. The report emphasizes the NEED FOR ACTION TO REDUCE FOOD WASTE AND CALLS FOR A MORE COORDINATED APPROACH FROM ALL STAKEHOLDERS, including governments, businesses, and consumers.

Research study by Kambites and Parry (2019) showed that SMEs in the food SECTOR LACK THE RESOURCES AND SUPPORT TO EFFECTIVELY ADDRESS FOOD WASTE. The study analyzed the barriers and facilitators to food waste reduction in SMEs, using a systematic review of the literature. The findings revealed that many SMEs lacked the necessary knowledge and expertise to implement effective waste reduction strategies.

All of these reasons motivate us so that a methodical approach via W2W is the right thing to do at the right time. By addressing this issue, we also ensure that education remains relevant, valuable & suited to creating informed changemakers.
ToimenpiteetWork package 1 - Project Management including activities related to monitoring, coordination, project communication, quality and evaluation, green strategy, inclusion policy and risk management.

Work package 2 – Awareness and Exploration-Waste 2 Worth Best Practice in Action
There are two parts to this WP – awareness and exploration.

1) W2W Awareness will investigate and publish examples of GOOD PRACTICE where operations exist that demonstrate appropriate use of waste streams in food SMEs with a focus on zero-waste, circularity. This will be sectorally based e.g. bakery will be led by It will put the spotlight on food SMEs, educators, food incubator hubs, marine, agricultural and food stakeholders.

2) W2W Exploration will highlight SMEs who have waste to offer as secondary resources and the key players that can benefit from these resources. This research base or exploration findings will be used as a tool to create REGIONAL MAPS in Ireland, Italy etc highlighting waste as resources, thus igniting the potential for innovative solutions for the future of food, feed and energy production.

WP2 outputs:
• Waste 2 Worth Best Practice Compendium (25 best practice examples),
• Waste 2 Worth SME Food Waste Community Exploration Guide and Methodology which will be tried and tested as they each create their own regional exploration and mapping.
• 5 Regional Community Maps of waste streams

Work Package 3 Waste to Worth Circularity OERs for Food SMEs Led
WP3 will develop and champion a comprehensive overview of circular economy practices and waste reduction strategies, as well as practical guidance on the development and implementation of the OERs to support SMEs in the food sector. The course will include hands-on exercises and real-world case studies to help learners apply the concepts and techniques covered in the course to their own businesses. Indicative content, 12 modules, will be linked to SDGs and will be embedded and tested in our regional communities.

WP3 outputs:
• A full set of OERs in each partner language (12 modules)
• 1 Educators/facilitators Guide which details the pedagogics on OERs can be taught and learning facilitated
• Bite size pieces for independent, self-paced learning, available on the project platform

Work package 4 Waste 2 Worth Regional collaborative Design Thinking Workshops

WP4 will provide and test a framework for Waste 2 Worth Regional Collaborative Design Thinking Workshops. The WP objective is to facilitate collaboration and problem-solving development and sharing between SMEs and other stakeholders in the regional food sector, involving all 4 target groups, with a focus on developing practical solutions to food waste or waste streams that are providing challenges to SMEs in the region. By providing a framework for collaboration and problem solving, W2W can identify best practices and refine its approach, ultimately contributing to a more sustainable and efficient food system. There are 5 steps involved:

1) Design the Framework
2) Create a Design Thinking Methodology
3) Recruit Design thinking workshop members:
4) Develop Collaboration Plans
5) Develop Action Plans

WP4 outputs:
• 5 Waste 2 Worth Regional Collaborative skills activity groups which will become practice focused food waste network groups
• 1 Design Thinking Facilitator Guide

Work Package 5
Impact and Dissemination WP5 includes activities that guide the integration of the project results in the regular work of participating organisations and ensure the expected project results have the potential to be used outside the organisations participating in the project during and after the project lifetime, and at local, regional, national or European level.
TuloksetWork package 1

Work package 2
COMPENDIUM will catalogue & appraise good practices
COMMUNITY EXPLORATION GUIDE a VET manual in waste discovery
WASTE STREAM MAPS to highlight prospects

Work package 3
EDUCATOR GUIDE practical VET guidance for OERs
W2W OERs foster & promote sustainable thinking & practice & approaches to climate action

Work package 4
DESIGN THINKING FACILITATOR’S GUIDE assist TG’s problem-solving journey

Work Package 5
KumppanitBia Innovator campus Ireland
Momentum Marketing Services Limited Ireland
Fondazione Luigi Clerici Italy
Centro de Formacion de Administracion y Hosteleria Spain
Savonia University of Applied Sciences Finland
RahoittajaErasmus+ 2021-2027