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    COLLARES project report - Strengthening collaborative food waste prevention in Colombia: towards responsible consumption and production

    Morley, Adrian ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4331-8735, Ruiz Vargas, Valeria ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0008-0747, Burrowes-Cromwell, Toni, Hernández Díaz;, Paula Marcela, Ramírez, Marcela, Boyce, Samuel and Osman, Sonny (2022) COLLARES project report - Strengthening collaborative food waste prevention in Colombia: towards responsible consumption and production. Project Report. COLLARES.

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    Abstract

    Throwing away food which could be eaten or otherwise put to good use should no longer be tolerated. Simply deemed as ‘food waste’, this practice is meeting with increasing disfavour from governments, householders and businesses alike (World Food Security, 2014; WRAP, 2013). Advocates are increasing calling for a move towards a circular economy by designing out waste, wherever possible, at every stage of handling resources (European Commission, 2014a; LWARB, 2017; Vilariño et al., 2017; Food Citizenship, 2019; Camilleri, 2021). In this respect, Colombia has joined other regional LAC countries by aiming to halve per capita food waste by 2025 (FAO, 2016). Circular practice in food preparation entails basic moves such as combating kitchen waste. Therefore, when it comes to food businesses and the wider hospitality sector (HaFS), preventing wastage or loss would be also strategic. The central aim would be to capture residual food value and, to keep consumable foodstuff from being discarded (usually in forms of landfill). It is towards this end that the project COLLARES aims to promote action against food waste in Colombia and Peru. COLLARES was implemented in 2021 by a cross-sector partnership of academic, business and other stakeholders. Data collection and business engagement was conducted primarily between February and July 2021 and was therefore impacted significantly by the COVID 19 pandemic. Despite this, COLLARES achieved engagement and exchange with over 160 HaFS businesses across the two DAC countries. COVID 19 effects on these businesses was generally sobering. At the same time, COVID 19 restrictions helped to trigger innovative responses including; improved management; new food handling techniques, and new distribution models. This document reports only on the findings from Colombia, based on the city of Medellín. An accompanying report on the work in Peru can be found on the project website (www.collaresproject.org). In addition to a literature review, we generated primary data from three main stages of the project. These encompassed an online quantitative survey, a series of qualitative expert interviews and an online workshop for HaFS representatives in Medellín. The latter involved a mixed grouping of participants with contributions from HaFS business representatives, academics and, specialists in food waste reduction and the circular economy.

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