George Athanasiadis

Multiplier Event 26/02/2024 Horeca Partners, Belgium

On February 26th, Horeca Partners organised a Multiplier Event for an interested audience in Restaurant Jerom, Antwerp, to present the results of the ADVANCE project. The attendees were horeca professionals, business owners and representatives of both VET organisations such as Horeca Forma and the sector federation Horeca Vlaanderen. By means of some very telling figures and statistics, Steve Van Uytbergen and Filip  Nicasi from Horeca Partners first demonstrated the magnitude of the worldwide issue of food waste, as well as its environmental, societal and financial consequences. Subsequently, the participants were guided through a large number of useful tips with a view to preventing, reducing and dealing with food waste in both horeca SMEs and households. Finally, extensive attention was given to the presentation of the objectives and outcomes of the ADVANCE project, with a specific emphasis on the deliverables that have been developed in the course of the project and which can be found on the ADVANCE Online Platform: a baseline assessment on waste management, gap analysis and knowledge assessment tools, roadmaps and a training course. After the presentation, there was ample room for further discussion and networking over a delicious dinner.


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Multiplier event of the ADVANCE project held in Zadar, Croatia

On Monday, February 19, 2024. Multiplier event of the ADVANCE project – Advancing Municipal

Circular Economy was held in Zadar´s Providur Palace.

The aim of the conference was to present the goals and results of the project, to point out the issue of food waste and to inform about prevention and sustainable management of food waste.

Žana Klarić, the Head of the Sector for Environmental Protection of City of Zadar and member of the ADVANCE project team, presented the project and its final result: ADVANCE platform.

Special emphasis was put on the “Gap analysis tool”, as a part of ADVANCE platform which was developed for two main target groups: cities/municipalities and HoReCa sector.

Special emphasis was also put on Roadmaps, individually for each target group, which, using a step-by-step methodology, guide the local administration or HoReCa to achieve the goals regarding the prevention and reduction of food waste.

After the presentation of the ADVANCE project, prof. Aleksandra Anić Vučinić conducted an education on food waste management, with special reference on the current state of waste management in the Republic of Croatia and Zadar County and impact of the tourism on food waste production. She also pointed out the importance of education and awareness raising for achieving the goals prescribed by legislations.

The event was attended by a large number of participants, including employees of local/regional authorities, HORECA, University, high schools, waste management companies, NGOs, media and owners of small rentals.

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ADVANCE event press release, Thursday 15 February 2024

The ADVANCE (“Advancing MuNicipal Circlular Economy”) Results Dissemination Event entitled “Reduction of food waste production in municipalities and small and medium-sized enterprises HORECA” was held with great success on Thursday, February 15, 2024, at the hospitable venue of the Cultural Centre “Theodoros Angelopoulos” of the Municipality of Moschato-Tavros. The event, which was attended by more than 60 people in total, was welcomed by Mr. Andreas Efthymiou, Mayor of Moschato-Tavros and Mrs. Ioanna Athanasatou, delegated advisor of the Municipality of Halandri on pre-school education issues.

In the main part of the event, the speeches were opened by Mr. Antonis Mavropoulos, founder and CEO of D-Waste and member of the UNEP’s International Advisory Committee of the International Environmental Technologies Centre, who analysed the global food losses along the food supply chain and emphasized the urgent need to redesign this chain not only to address the problem of food waste but, above all, to satisfy global dietary requirements within our planet’s ecological boundaries.

Then, Ms. Nasia Barka, head of the Loss Prevention and Food Waste Generation Unit of the Municipality of Halandri, analysed the diverse actions of the Municipality in this field and presented results from related research projects that the Municipality is involved in, under the scientific guidance of Mr. Gerasimos Lymperatos, Professor of the School of Chemical Engineering of the NTUA.

Following, Ms. Dia Chorafa, Project Manager at the “BOROUME” organisation, referred to comprehensive strategy that “BOROUME” follows to prevent food waste along the value chain through their programs such as “Food Rescue & Supply”, “BOROUME at the Farmer’s Market” and “No Portion of Food Wasted”, as well as their actions to raise awareness among students and the general public about the phenomenon of food waste.

The baton was taken by Mr. Vangelis Terzis, scientific officer of D-WASTE, who set the framework of cooperation between municipalities and HoReCa SME businesses on the basis of legislative obligations, the particular characteristics of the Greek context, the necessary changes in the daily management practices of restaurants and the imperative financial support of small businesses in the HORECA sector in order to be able to integrate the circular economy princples.

Concluding the presentations, Mr. Dimitris Damigos, Professor of the School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering of NTUA Coordinator of the ADVANCE project, outlined the methodology and results of the Project towards fostering a strategic coalition for education, training and awareness-raising between Municipalities and HORECA SMEs, so that both parties can smoothly and effectively meet the ambitious targets on food waste.

The event concluded with interesting interventions from the attending representatives of Municipalities and HORECA businesses on the challenges they face and the fragmented but worthwhile initiatives that have been taken on reducing food waste.


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Dissemination activities at Adriatic Gastro Show

On February 1st 2024 representatives of the City of Zadar, within the frame of the ADVANCE project (Erasmus+ program), visited the Adriatic Gastro Show which took place in Zadar, Croatia. Leaflets about food waste prevention and food waste reduction were distirubuted to exhibitors on the fair: HoReCa SMEs and other business that produce food waste. They were also directed to the internet platform “ADVANCE foodwaste” which contains an educational tool on sustainable food waste management in HoReCa SMEs and municipalities.

The goal of this activity was to point out the problem of food waste to the participants of the fair, to raise awareness on this issue and to educate HoReCa SMEs about the activities that each of them can undertake in order to reduce food waste.














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5th Transnational Meeting in Zadar, Croatia

On January 29 and 30, the City of Zadar hosted the 5th transnational meeting of partners of the EU project “ADVANCE – Advancing Municipal Circular Economy”.

Besides partners who were hosts, the meeting was attended by representatives of other partners: NTUA (National Technical University of Athens), D-Waste LTD and SIGMA Business Network from Greece, Eugene Global LTD from Cyprus, Horeca Partners from Belgium and the City Administration for Protection of the environment of the City of Novi Sad (Serbia), who were unable to travel to Zadar and participated in the meeting online.

The meeting discussed the activities carried out so far, with special emphasis on the results of testing of developed materials and tools (Gap Analysis Tool, Roadmaps, ADVANCE Course).

Additionally, the meeting discussed further possibilities for improving the ADVANCE platform, past and future educational and informational activities and guidelines for the preparation of the final report.

This meeting was the last transnational meeting of the partners during the two-year duration of the project.


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City of Zadar participated at the horeca fair in Zadar – Croatia

In a scope of ADVANCE project, City of Zadar, in cooperation with its public waste management company  Čistoća d.o.o. participated in the HoReCa fair which took place from  20 to 22 October 2023. in Zadar, Croatia.

The aim of the participation was to point out to HoReCa sector the problem of food waste and to educate them how to prevent and reduce the amount of food waste.

Representatives of City of Zadar presented ADVANCE project and announced the “ADVANCE foodwaste” online platform, which will soon be posted on the project’s website as a tool that will help target groups to assess their overall competences, capability and skills on circular economy and food waste management processes.

During the fair, City of Zadar distributed leaflets with practical advices on how to prevent food waste in all stages of business processes: from procurement and storage to food preparation and serving. Besides, presentation with a special focus on composting was held during the fair. HoReCa sector was also informed about the platform “E-donation” set up by Croatian Ministry of Agriculture and created for the purpose of connecting food donors and intermediaries in the food donation chain.

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ADVANCE project at Zadar Christmas Market

Christmas is a time when large amounts of food are prepared and consumed, and thus a large amount of food waste is generated.

Therefore, Zadar Christmas Market was an opportunity to point out the issue of food waste and to raise awareness among HORECA SME who play an important role in food waste production.

As part of the ADVANCE (Erasmus+) project, representatives of the City of Zadar distributed flyers to HORECA SME at Zadar Christmas Market, with practical advice on how to reduce the amount of food waste in all phases of business processes: from procurement and storage to food preparation and serving. Also, HORECA SME were directed to the Internet platform “ADVANCE foodwaste”, which contains a tool for education on sustainable food waste management.

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Activities at Višnjik winter park

Ice skating and ice sliding attracted many visitors to the winter park of the Zadar´s Sports Center Visnjik. Since exciting winter joys are followed by refreshments with warm drinks and gastronomic delights served in the surrounding Christmas market stalls, City of Zadar recognized the opportunity to point out the problem of food waste and to raise awareness among HORECA SMEs.

Therefore, representatives of the City of Zadar distributed leaflets with practical advice on how to reduce the amount of food waste in all stages of business processes: from procurement and storage to preparation and serving of food. Also, restaurateurs were directed to the Internet platform “ADVANCE foodwaste”  which contains an educational tool on sustainable food waste management.


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The role of HoReCa staff training in reducing food waste

According to the most recent Eurostat data (2023), restaurants and food services produced, in 2021, around 9% of food waste at EU-27 level (12 kg per inhabitant and year). Research in the UK has estimated that the annual cost of food waste in the country’s restaurants is £682m, or around £ 5,500 per restaurant on average, while the ReFED estimates that on a percentage basis the cost of food waste in the US exceeds 4% of an average restaurant’s sales.

Effective food waste management primarily hinges on prevention. This necessitates a comprehensive overhaul and more stringent control of the entire food procurement, preparation, and serving process. Specifically, the following measures are imperative:

  • Yield management, maximizing production derived from raw materials.
  • Inventory management, ensuring the proper flow of raw materials in and out of the kitchen to prevent food spoilage.
  • Waste management, i.e. minimizing waste whenever possible and composting or other form of recycling before disposal in landfills.

Implementing these processes enables businesses in the HoReCa sector to minimize food waste and mitigate associated financial costs. Application of “lean management” methods will result in a simplified, adaptable and flexible process. For instance, employing lean management in meal preparation has the potential to optimize various aspects, including ingredient selection, menu size, portion size, and the generation of leftovers by customers.

According to a 2017 survey by WWF and the American Hotel and Lodging Association, business personnel play a critical role in the success of a food waste reduction program. In fact, over 90% of kitchen staff said they want to help prevent food waste, but need guidance, which, for example, could come in the form of daily meetings and discussions between staff members and, above all, through the establishment of training programs.

Addressing this need, ADVANCE has developed a tailored training program for HoReCa sector staff. The program covers general aspects of the food waste problem, such as definitions, the magnitude of the problem, relevant legislation, etc. It also delves into specific aspects of food waste in the sector, such as waste before and during food preparation, waste after food is served to customers, benefits and barriers to reducing food waste, guidelines for monitoring and measuring the problem, and measures and practices to reduce both avoidable and unavoidable food waste. The training material will be accessible in a user-friendly online environment, featuring additional sources of information and self-assessment questions/problems.

You may check the beta version here:

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How much food is wasted and why by households and HoReCa businesses?

What percentage of food is wasted by households and businesses in the HoReCa sector, and what are the underlying reasons? A survey, featuring an online questionnaire and personal interviews, was conducted in selected European countries (Greece, Serbia, and Croatia for households, and Greece, Cyprus, and Belgium for HoReCa businesses) as part of the ADVANCE Erasmus+ Project. The aim was to provide insights into this question.

As per the household survey, which collected approximately 150 responses, vegetables emerge as the most susceptible to waste, followed by fruit, starchy foods (e.g., potatoes, bread, rice, etc.), and sweets/desserts. More than half of the food is discarded after cooking, approximately 30% is wasted before cooking, and the remainder during food preparation. There is evident indication that inadequate planning of meal preparation leads households to overlook ready meals stored in the refrigerator. Consequently, a substantial portion of leftover food (over 35%), still suitable for consumption, ends up in waste bins. The management of unavoidable food waste mirrors patterns seen with food scraps. Most households do not segregate food waste from other waste due to the absence of organized waste management in their municipality.

While variations exist between the three surveyed countries, it is evident that food waste at the consumption stage is directly linked to consumer purchasing behavior.


Figure 1. Reasons why food is wasted (regarding the three types of food that are wasted the most)


Concerning the HORECA survey, approximately 130 questionnaires were gathered to assess the landscape. The generation of food waste in the industry is contingent on the volume of food purchased, meaning that a higher quantity of food purchased correlates with a greater amount of waste. Meat takes the lead in food waste, followed by vegetables and starchy foods. Nearly half of all food waste transpires during consumption, 25% during food preparation, and another 25% during food preservation. Food waste deemed unsuitable for consumption is typically discarded, accounting for about 75% of such waste.

Regarding food waste management practices, around 45% of businesses reported donating a portion to charity, 9% composting, 7% outsourcing, and 16% adopting alternative practices. Alarmingly, over half of the businesses dispose of some or all of their leftover food, with only a third stating that they frequently or very frequently provide customers with doggy bags for taking leftover food home. Approximately one in three businesses claim to have a separate collection system for organic/bio-waste, but significant variations exist among the three countries. Notably, a lack of available space was identified as a major barrier to implementing separate collection systems.

On a positive note, businesses believe that food waste in the industry has decreased compared to a decade ago, attributing this decline to increased experience in food management, heightened attention to cost considerations, and a growing environmental awareness. The primary motivations for industry companies to reduce food waste are primarily environmental and financial, with less emphasis on legislative requirements. Lastly, participants underscored that the most preferable measure to curb food waste is educating workers in the sector.


Figure 2. Percentage of food believed to be wasted during consumption, preparation and preservation


More detailed information about the research is available on the Project’s website (

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