NORSUS, the norwegian research partner of the AVARE projekt was able to successfully complete a research project on food waste in the food and catering industry. The project "CutFoodwaste2020 - research" was a three-year research project, funded by the Research Council of Norway and was carried out in parallel with the industry project "CutFoodwaste2020", the food and catering industry's own initiative to prevent and reduce food waste in Norway. The background for the research project was a strong focus on food waste throughout the value chain, but lacking data and measures form the food service. Based on both international results and results from preliminary projects, it was assumed that food waste from this industry was large and had a correspondingly large reduction potential.
The project had the following deliveries:
• Guidelines for mapping food waste for the catering sector
• Guidelines for safe reuse of food in the catering industry
• Identified causes of food waste and identified and tested measures to reduce food waste
• Established system for calculating food service statistics and calculated key figures for each segment
In the work of establishing and calculating key figures for food waste, some important methodological challenges regarding data quality and representativeness have been identified, and the advantages and disadvantages associated with various methodological choices have been discussed.
The results from the project show that out of total food waste in the food service sector, the restaurants accounts for the largest share (34%), followed by kiosk and cafés (20%), canteens (15%) and hotels (13%). The public sector (nursing homes, kindergarten, school canteens) account for 18% of the total.
The largest reduction in the key figure grams of food waste per meal was achieved for restaurants (32%) followed by canteens (23%), kiosk and cafés (16%), nursing homes (15% for nursing homes with implemented measures) and hotels ( 11%). Kindergarten and school day care there has been no reduction in food waste, since food waste data has only been reported for one year. The data quality is also assessed for each segment, as seen on the figure below.
The project has shown that results can be achieved in a short time if effective reduction measures are implemented. However, much still remains to establish good representative data and for food service companies to implement mapping and preventive measures as a part of daily routines. The project has formed a solid platform for further work in the food service sector, both in terms of knowledge, tools and routines for registration of data and methods for calculating key figures and upscaling to industry and sector.