Key actors in the Norwegian food value chain developed “10 principles for reducing food waste together”

Within the context of the BREAD research project about responsible innovation for reducing food waste, important companies in the Norwegian food value chain were challenged to develop a roadmap for collaborative reduction of food waste, over and above the food waste reduction that the companies can do on their own. The companies accepted the challenge and through a consensus process in the spring and summer of 2022 developed 10 substantial principles pointing the way forward. The process was facilitated by researchers at NORSUS and the secretariat of Matvett.

In short the principles are:

Collaboration across the value chain

  1. We must improve together: All actors must contribute to putting food waste on the agenda in the value chain, enable responsible consumers behaviour and share good practices.
  2. We must cooperate more in the value chain: This involves building trust and working together for better solutions.
  3. We must facilitate openness and sharing in the value chain: This involves clarifying common goals, sharing food waste relevant information, and coordinate better.
  4. We must think holistically: Through cooperation, the total amount of – and not just individual actors’ - food waste must be reduced.

Communication internally in multi-unit corporations

  1. We must create ownership and incentives for reduced food waste throughout the whole corporation: This includes setting goals, monitoring, building competencies and food waste culture, and integrating food waste perspectives into all of the corporation's processes. 

Involving and enabling consumers in the fight against food waste

  1. We must get consumers on board: This includes better analyses of consumer behaviour, giving consumers better knowledge and building a culture of acceptance for less abundance and for products with minor imperfections. 
  2. We must increase dialogue with consumers: This implies more interactive forms of communication where consumers are more involved in product development and innovation in the industry.

Involvement of other actors

  1. We must involve the authorities in dialogue: This means enabling authorities to build on or support industry-led initiatives and reduce regulatory barriers against important food waste initiatives.
  2. We must disseminate our knowledge: All actors in the value chain should from their unique perspectives contribute with their knowledge to food waste initiatives related to purchasers, the education sector and other actors that can build competence and good attitudes among own staff and society.
  3. We should, to a greater extent, be part of new research collaborations: This means contributing to the production of new knowledge that is relevant for, and targeted to, reducing food waste. 

The long version of the principles can be found here [though only in Norwegian]:

The actors contributing to the roadmap are the following:

  • Orkla
  • Nortura
  • Rema 1000
  • Møllerens
  • ISS
  • Radisson Hotels
  • Lantmännen
  • Coor
  • Odd Langdalen
  • Norgesgruppen/Meny
  • Coop
  • Matvett

The formal launch was at Arendalsuka, August 2022. We who were involved in the work hope that it will be of wide-reaching interest and encourage all actors in the food value chain to sign up to the principles.

Matvett is planning to further add good examples and additional material to the principles.

For more information, contact Ellen-Marie Forsberg at NORSUS or Matvett.