Food waste is recognised as a global problem: whilst the richer nations are conspicuous consumers of fads as well as essentials, many poorer nations lack the resource and access to food to provide even the basics on a daily basis to their citizens. Within the EU, a common problem is that high aesthetic requirements related to foodstuffs means that we waste significant amounts of food unnecessarily whilst vulnerable sectors of our own societies go hungry.
SavingFood 2.0 provides a collaborative and brokerage platform to all those with (surplus) food to donate to those in need; but further, to allow those who have no food to offer, but do have other resources (such as transport), to engage and support food sharing efforts. At the same time, an important feature involves privacy: potential beneficiaries may not wish to advertise that they do not have enough; but just as importantly, potential donors may not wish it known that they have food going to waste (e.g., farmers, producing to quota; or supermarkets with aesthetically based quality control). On top of these core concerns, such a brokerage platform also provides an opportunity for awareness raising, social engagement in food-related events, and social debate. It is therefore a forum for community co-operation as well as for politicians and policy makers to see what is really happening, and more general media reporting of societally sensitive activities.
IT Innovation leads the platform development work in this project, as well as tasks pertaining to data management and ethics. Building on work in WeGov and SENSE4US, the platform development benefits from our existing work on social engagement platforms with access to behavioural information. The platform will support not only donation-request brokerage and food gleaning but also policy maker and media interest in the topic of food sharing and sustainability.
This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 688221.