LIFE Project Cover Photo

Awareness-raising campaign for food waste prevention and surplus food management among agrofood SMEs,retailers&consumers

Reference: LIFE15 GIE/IT/000887 | Acronym: LIFE-Food.Waste.StandUp



Every year some 1.3 billion tonnes of food is lost or wasted worldwide, representing one third of all food produced for human consumption. The greatest food waste occurs in high-income countries. In the EU, an estimated 89 million tonnes/yr of food is wasted, coming from households (42%), the manufacturing sector (39%), retail/wholesale (5%) and food service/catering (14%). The environmental impact of this waste is considerable, equating to 170 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent/yr and amounting to 3% of total EU27 greenhouse gas emissions in 2008. It also places great stress on water and land resources, soil and biodiversity. Costs associated with food waste are enormous (some 2 300 billion/yr worldwide, when environmental and social impacts are taken into account).

The main causes of food waste include lack of consumer awareness and lack of communication along the supply chain. Anti-waste initiatives typically address only consumers, neglecting the agri-food companies and retailers. Cross-cutting initiatives are therefore necessary.


The LIFE-Food.Waste.StandUp projects main objective was to raise awareness of surplus food management and food waste prevention among three key actors of the food supply chain: agri-food companies, food retailers and consumers. This would be done by means of a coordinated information campaign, carried out at national and European level.

Specific project objectives were to:

  • Promote and disseminate information among agri-food companies and food retailers about existing opportunities and tools for the recovery and donation of unsold food products;
  • Strengthen awareness and knowledge about food waste prevention practices and promote responsible behaviour among all three target groups;
  • Support the implementation of the Italian food waste prevention strategy, contributing to the EU objective to reduce food waste by 30% by 2025;
  • Encourage national and local institutions to introduce incentives for food redistribution (such as tax reliefs and simplified procedures); and
  • Ensure dialogue and knowledge exchange among food supply chain actors in Italy and the EU.
  • The Circular Economy Package includes a proposal for Member States to develop national food waste prevention strategies to reduce food waste by at least 30% by 2025. The project contributes to this ambitious goal by supporting the activation and further reinforcement of the existing Italian national food waste prevention programmes.


    The LIFE-Food.Waste.StandUp project raised awareness of surplus food management among agri-food companies, food retailers and consumers. This aim was reached through the promotion and dissemination of information, the strengthening of awareness and knowledge, the clear support to the implementation of the Italian food waste law and the creation of synergies and knowledge exchange among food supply chain actors in Italy and the EU.

    Specific quantitative results included:

  • More than 88 000 Italian agri-food companies involved in the awareness campaign through the FedServ newsletter and other activities (significantly above the target of 20 000);
  • 200 000 food and drink enterprises across the EU informed about best practices and models for managing and donating surplus food (This was reached mainly by the sending of communications to 13 F&D Federations at European level and the ratification of collaboration agreements with seven European Food and Drink Federations);
  • 12 000 food retail outlets improved their knowledge of food waste reduction practices (In particular, they received all the materials available including guidelines, videos, anti-food waste kit, radio spot and were involved directly in the organisation of a roadshow where 16 best practices were presented);
  • 200 agri-food companies trained on how to prevent food waste through three events organised with the Young Entrepreneurs Group of Federalimentare and one webinar;
  • 74 delegates of local branches of the food industry trained on how to prevent food waste as well as 31 delegates of FD local branches;
  • 62 consumer info-points in 59 cities in 18 regions set up;
  • More than 1.5 million consumers were informed about food waste prevention through various means (leaflets, educative guides, videos, info points, brochures, articles and newsletters, social media, training seminars and events, etc.);
  • A 70% increase in the number of events to raise awareness on food waste prevention held by food enterprises (significantly above the target of 30%);
  • A 38% increase in the amount of food waste recovered from retailers (in tonnes);
  • A 25% increase in food waste recovered from agri-food companies (in tonnes);
  • A 9% increase in the number of new food donors among agri-food companies;
  • A 27% increase in the number of new food donors among retailers (active FD's sale points); and
  • A 121% increase in the amount of recovered food waste by food donors in general, rising from 40 767 tonnes in 2016 to 90 411 in 2018.
  • The project has been introduced to policymakers in Europe, including during Green Week and in an event in the European Parliament. Meetings have been held also with officials of DG-SANTE, the Rappresentanza Permanente dellItalia presso lUE, and members of the European Food Banks Federation (FEBA). Besides, agreements were signed with seven members of the network of National Food Platforms to update their Strategic Research Agenda by including the "prevention of food waste" and "food donation" in it in the coming years (Slovenia, Austria, Portugal, Spain, Turkey, Greece and France).

    At national/regional level, 10 roadshows were held the Italian regions of Veneto, Lombardy, Lazio, Emilia Romagna, Piedmont Tuscany, Abruzzo, Sicily and Friuli Venezia Giulia. These events brought together stakeholders on a regional basis (food retailers, decision makers, associations involved in the food surplus redistribution, and academia), to help adapt to the national food waste law. They typically ended with the official signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the regional authorities that committed them to launch a common action against food waste. Furthermore, an EU tour was carried out by the associated beneficiary FBAO (Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus), with full support of FEBA, around European food banks in Slovenia, Greece, Malta and Ireland.

    Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).


    Reference: LIFE15 GIE/IT/000887
    Acronym: LIFE-Food.Waste.StandUp
    Start Date: 07/07/2016
    End Date: 30/06/2019
    Total Eligible Budget: 1,571,100 €
    EU Contribution: 942,660 €
    Project Location:


    Coordinating Beneficiary: Federalimentare Servizi Srl
    Legal Status: PCO
    Address: Viale L. Pasteur 10, 00144, Rome, Italia
    Contact Person: Maurizio NOTARFONSO
    Email: Send Email
    Website: Visit Website

    LIFE Project Map



    • Waste reduction - Raw material saving
    • Awareness raising - Information
    • Bio-waste (including food waste)
    • Commerce


    • public awareness campaign
    • waste reduction
    • financial instrument


    • COM(2014)398 - "Towards a circular economy: a zero waste programme for Europe" (02.07.2014)
    • Directive¬†2008/98 - Waste and repealing certain Directives (Waste Framework Directive) (19.11.2008)


    Name Type
    Federalimentare Servizi Srl Coordinator
    FBAO(Fondazione Banco Alimentare Onlus), Italy Participant
    UNC(Unione Nazionale Consumatori), Italy Participant
    FD(Federdistribuzione), Italy Participant