Kickoff Circular Food Hub South Tyrol

Apr 15, 2024

In a world of dwindling resources, food too must be given a second and third chance rather than ending up in the trash. This is the fundamental idea behind the circular economy, which is becoming increasingly important in the context of sustainability. Efforts to promote a circular economy in the food sector in South Tyrol are now being consolidated into a dedicated platform. The “Circular Food Hub South Tyrol” is being shaped through input gathered from a workshop involving companies, associations, experts from the food and agriculture sectors, academia, research, and interested citizens, facilitated by IDM South Tyrol. These insights will inform the future strategy of the hub, which includes showcasing projects and business ideas from local pioneers.

The Circular Food Hub emerging in South Tyrol will be one of five pilot centers across five Alpine countries collaborating under the EU project “CEFoodCycle.” Their aim is to develop solutions for reducing and repurposing food waste to mitigate CO2 emissions. The project seeks to promote sustainable practices in the food sector while enhancing environmental consciousness in the participating regions. Manuela Irsara, Head of Food & Wellness Innovation at IDM, emphasizes the importance of integrating sustainable practices into legislation to effectively combat food waste.

Supported by South Tyrol, which already possesses an overarching vision for sustainable development, the Circular Food Hub aims to contribute significantly to this goal with a shared vision and strategy. It plans to initiate pilot projects, organize events, facilitate knowledge exchange, establish a multi-stakeholder network, and assist businesses in idea development and partnership building.

Klaus Egger, the sustainability officer of the region, underscores the importance of collaboration with research institutions to make the latest scientific findings accessible to local businesses and stakeholders. The circular economy presents an opportunity to conserve resources and uncover new economic prospects.

In the context of the research project “CEFoodCycle,” along with 10 other partners, we actively engage in the dissemination and prevention of food waste. Our goal is to establish Circular Food Hubs in five Alpine pilot regions to identify potentials for reducing food waste and CO2 emissions. Additionally, we are developing a smart digital tool to optimize the distribution of food and waste among various partners such as producers, retailers, and social institutions.