Book Chapter: Social innovation for food waste reduction: surplus food redistribution

Published by SHARECITY on the 16th December 2022.

Book chapter in: Pace, N., and S. Busetti. “Food Loss and Waste Policy: From Theory to Practice.” (2022): Routledge: London and New York, ISBN: 9781003226932


Chapter Abstract:

In certain national contexts, such as France and Italy, new regulations are encouraging retailers to reduce their food waste, particularly through the redistribution of the edible surplus food they generate. Social innovation around surplus food is also a vibrant arena of action, with grassroots responses to reducing food waste being both well established and emerging, particularly at the urban scale. Examples include surplus food pay-as-you-feel cafes and community kitchens, as well as redistribution initiatives working with fresh and cooked food to connect donors and recipients of surplus, many utilising digital technologies to mediate and up-scale their activities. However, the overall impact of these initiatives, both in terms of food waste reduction and otherwise, is unclear. Interrogating illustrative cases from Dublin, London and Barcelona in terms of their form, function, governance and impacts, we discuss key challenges and opportunities facing these initiatives, and the organisations which supply and govern them, focusing in particular on an innovative tool to assist with impact analysis. In conclusion, we explore the challenges that remain in the arena of surplus food redistribution and set out a prospective research agenda for progressing our understanding of activities for food waste reduction beyond public and private initiatives.



Davies, A. R., and McGeever, A.H. “Social innovation for food waste reduction: Surplus food redistribution.” In Food Loss and Waste Policy, pp. 209-223. Routledge.

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