Systemic innovations to achieve zero food waste

ZeroW will attempt to address how to use data to reduce PDA (Food Loss and Waste).

To get a clear picture of the amounts of waste along the food chain, we will outline a conceptual framework for measuring ADP and determining the economic effects.

In addition, we will work to create semantic interoperability, i.e., the ability of computer systems to exchange data with shared and unambiguous meaning.

This will be done through a European PDA data space managed for the digital support needed to reduce PDA.

Digital Agribusiness


Approximately 20% of the food produced in the EU is wasted. ZeroW directly addresses the challenge of food loss and waste by developing and testing a synergistic combination of innovations in real-life conditions, with the goal of achieving ambitious reductions at all stages of the food supply chain, from post-harvest to consumption.

The global food system is a major contributor to climate change, accounting for more than 30% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Approximately one third of the food produced is never consumed, but is lost or wasted somewhere along the value chain. This is a major problem that urgently requires systemic innovation and the ZeroW project is working to develop just that.

Research has identified a variety of factors affecting food loss and waste (FWL), including poor forecasting; mismatches between supply and demand; inadequate harvesting, processing and logistics practices; low tolerance for “ugly” foods at retail; and problematic consumer buying habits.

Some of the major structural and behavioral effects of the current food system show that the problem occurs throughout the entire value chain and a multitude of solutions must be developed and implemented to make a real impact.


Research has identified a variety of factors that affect food loss and waste.


Reducing ADP is essential for the transition to sustainable food systems by substantially reducing resource use and GHG emissions. ZeroW will provide credible solutions to significantly reduce ADP by engaging all food system stakeholders in a collaborative framework to accelerate the just transition to a socially, economically and environmentally sustainable food system for all.

The methodology ZeroW uses to coordinate our multi-organizational innovation process is the Living Lab approach.

It focuses on a systemic co-creation methodology that involves all actors in the food chain and beyond: presenting social and governance dimensions to industrial partners in a real-life environment.

ZeroW has created 9 real-life Living Labs that incorporate systemic innovations with the potential to lead to fundamental changes in both social dimensions (values, regulations, attitudes) and technical dimensions (infrastructure, technology, tools, processes) and, most importantly, in the relationships between them.

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