Food waste


Abstract of projects and publications from ABF-BOKU

    • Assessment of food losses in organic vegetable farming
      Master thesis, Franz Aunkofer, 2015.
      This thesis was supervised in cooperation with Prof. Friedel from BOKU Institute of organic farming. An abstract in english is available here.

    • Food loss in Austrian Food retail
      In the course of the ECR-working group "waste management" (german only) a study was conducted to survey the annual food loos in Austrian retail based on all food products and all corresponding outlets of the participating retail companies. ABF-BOKU analysed the data provided by the cooperation partners from retail and conducted also an extrapolation for the Austrian retailing branch. The study represents a rare joint action of the Austrian retail which is internationally unique. We would like to thank all cooperation partners for their valuable participation and the fruitful teamwork! The published report also includes an english abstract.

    • Losses of fruits and vegetables in Austrian agriculture
      In cooperation with the sustainability team of GLOBAL 2000 ABF-BOKU conducted an exploratory study related to losses of fruits and vegetables in Austrian agriculture on behalf of the Ministry of agriculture and forestry, environment and water management. Aim was to survey the losses corresponding to several products from field to marketing to retail, reasons for the losses and already implemented prevention measures.

    • United Against Waste - food waste in food service sector
      On initiative of Unilever Food Solutions the action United Against Waste was implemented in several countries. Aim of the initiative is to raise awareness and set and initiate action to prevent food waste from gastronomy, canteen kitchens and catering. Further information related to the initiative can be found here (german only). ABF-BOKU is partner in Austria and on behalf of the Ministry of agriculture and forestry, environment and water management, the Federal states of Styria, Salzburg, Tyrol and Vienna as well as tatwort nachhaltige Projekte GmbH a scientific study has been conducted. From July to end of September 2014 29 food service companies were analysed using a detailed waste sorting analysis. The food service companies included hotels, gastronomy and canteen kitchens (staff canteens, hospitals and nursing homes). Aim of the project is to provide a first data base related to Austrian food service sector using a harmonised methodology, develop recommendations for prevention measures and initiate a benchmark system for the first time.

      Although the project was conduced in german, you can also find an abstract in english in the report!

    • Evaluation of workshops targeting prevention of food waste
      The study was funded by Altstoff Recycling Austria AG (ARA). The workshops were developed and conducted in the course of the information campagne essensWert by Ernährungsinstitut KinderLeicht in several administrative regions in Bavaria in spring 2014. The workshops were funded by the Bavarian Ministry for nutrition, agriculture and forestry. Aim of ABF-BOKU was to conducet an independent evaluation of the workshops to assess the effect of the workshops on the participants. In cooperation with the University of Applied Sciences in Tyrol also a comparison group was surveyed. The report is available using the link in the headline and also includes an english summary.

    • Future of Waste (FUWA)
      Since 2011 ABF-BOKU cooperated with Energetická agentura Vysočiny, with microregion Telčsko and the Austrian Institute of Ecology related to the three-year lasting Czech-Austrian project. The study was funded by the programme OP Europäische territoriale Kooperation Österreich - Tschechische Republik 2007 - 2013. Aim of the project was the optimisation of the bio waste treatment system within the region. One topic included also the measurement of the food waste from households discarded into the residual waste. A waste sorting analysis was conducted by ABF-BOKU and based on the results a food waste prevention guideline was developed. The guideline targets the Czech households in the region and the development was valuable supported by the experiences from Austria which base on several projects conducted in the recent years. All results were both published in german as well as in  czech language. The final conference was held on June 25th 2014 in Jihlava.

    • A reviewpaper written by Felicitas Schneider was published under the title "Review of food waste prevention on an international level" in the Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Waste and Resource Managment 166, November 2013 Issue WR4, p 187-203. The paper can be found here, the whole journal can be found here.




    A new FP7-project coordinated by Wageningen UR Food and Biobased Research was started on August 1st 2012. ABF-BOKU is one of 21 partner organisations located in 13 european countries working until July 2016 against food waste. FUSIONS means Food Use for Social Innovation by Optimising waste prevention Strategies.

    Updated information can be found at the FUSIONS website and you are also welcome to follow us via twitter @EU_FUSIONS.

    Here you can find a short introduction to the project aims.

    Here you find the facebook page of the project.

    In March 2014 FUSIONS announced the launch of seven social innovation feasibility studies to help deliver results in food waste prevention on the ground.
    The feasibility studies will test how social innovation can be used to tackle food waste, from using the internet to connect those with surplus food to those who need it, to arranging community-based food canning and jam-making events. The studies are finished, the reports prepared for publishing!

    In November 2015 the report "Criteria for and baseline assessment for environmental and socio-economic impacts of food waste" leaded by ABF-BOKU was published.

    All previous FUSIONS publications are provided for download in english here!

    The last FUSIONS Multistakeholder Platform Meeting for central and eastern Europe will take place on February 25th, 2016 in Vienna at BOKU University. The meeting language will be English, attendance is free of charge! Please find here the program and the link to registration. We welcome you at our meeting!
    Besides international information about food waste related research we invited stakeholders from Austria to present their food waste prevention measures and strategies. In addition, in cooperation with our FUSIONS partner FAO we proudly present the photo series "One Third" from Klaus Pichler.
    We planned our meeting in ecological way and the City of Vienna rewarded the event with the EcoEvent rating. This means that we considered waste prevention measures (especially food waste prevention), proper accessibility of our venue by public transport as well as bicycle and gentle use of resources. Our catering is regional, seasonal, 100 % organic and respects also vegetarian nutrition habits.

    The last FUSIONS Multistakeholder Platform Meeting on European Level is scheduled for March 31st, 2016 in Brussels. More information related to the event can be found here.

    • Determination of discarded food and proposals for a minimisation of food wastage in Germany.

      The study was conducted by ABF-BOKU on behalf of the Federal German Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) in cooperation with the Institute for Sanitary Engineering, Water Quality and Solid Waste Management at University Stuttgart.

      An english version of the summary report is available on the website of the German ministry. June 2011 - February 2012

    • Causes of food waste generation in households - an empirical analysis
      Master thesis. Glanz Robert, 2009



    • IWWG Task Group on Prevention of Food Waste
      On initiative of ABF-BOKU a task group on Prevention of Food Waste was funded within the International Waste Working Group (IWWG).
      Read more about it ....

    • ECR Austria Academic Partnership
      Since November 2014 ABF-BOKU is member of the ECR Austria Academic Partnership (german only) which strengthens our ongoing cooperation with working groups of ECR. The latest outcome of our contribution can be found above within the "project and publication" section.

    • Up to beginning of 2016 we were also members of the German speaking network for Food Waste Prevention and contributed to the initiative "Genießt uns!" (enjoy us!) in Germany by supporting the advisory board. The network aims to increase sharing of knowledge, disseminate research results to members and to the public, and to initiate joint projects. The initiative targets small and medium enterprises in Germany and supports to decrease food waste by several measures. Further information related to the network and the initiative is available in german language only.

    • Wastecooking - Make food, not waste from Mischief Films
      David Groß travels through Austria, Belgium, the Nederlands, Germany and France to find food waste which still can be used to prepare healthy food. Together with activists, cooks, researchers and affected people the topic of food waste is tracked and discussed in a different way. Felicitas Schneider from ABF-BOKU participated as food waste expert from Austria.

      In the course of the Deauville Green Awards 2015, the servies was awarded in the category "Responsible consumption and Eco labels" with the Documentary Silver Award! The TV series was broadcasted e.g. by arte and ORF in fall 2015.

    • Food Savers from Valentin Thurn
      A new documentary film made by the director of "Taste the Waste", Valentin Thurn, will be released on Monday, May 13th 2013, at ARD channel at 10:45 p.m. Although the film will be in German, the trailer is also available in english now. The film gives information about people and companies throughout Europe who take the food waste challenge. Enjoy!

    • TV documentary film and cinema movie "Taste The Waste"
      The film directed by Valentin Thurn issues the topic "wastage of food" along the food supply chain. International experts explain the causes and interactions as well as option for prevention of food waste.

      Felicitas Schneider from ABF-BOKU exemplifies some results of our studies with respect to food waste prevention on household level.

      The international version for TV (duration: 55 minutes) was released in autumn 2010 e.g. in following countries: Netherlands (BOS), Sweden (SVT), Ireland (TG4), Spain (TV3), Lithuania (LVT), Finnland (YLE), Switzerland (TSR), Norway (NRK), Cyprus (CYBC), Greece (ERT) and South Korea (CREO)

      In Germany 120,000 people watched the movie from the cinema release in September 2011 until May 2012. Thus, the movie is the most successful dokumentary movie of saison 2011/2012. In Austria more than 25,000 people joined the movie since cinema release in November 2011.

      Since now the dokumentary movie was introduced at more than 40 film festivals worldwide and was awarded with 12 prizes. One of the awards is the Umwelt-Medienpreis der Deutschen Umwelthilfe (environmental media award of German Umwelthilfe).

      In autumn 2012 the movie was also released in Switzerland.

      The movie can be purchased as DVD respectively Blue-Ray!

      More information is available here: (also in english)

      In 2013 the movie started also in Japan, here some information from Japanese newspaper!


    Dipl.-Ing.Gudrun Obersteiner

    e-mail: gudrun.obersteiner(at)