Combating food waste in Portugal: a case study of a civil society initiative

Diogo Lorena, Iva Pires

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Food waste is a transversal phenomenon that affects, although in different ways, all countries. A Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) study has shown that there are about 1.3 billion tons of food in good condition for consumption wasted each year in the world. It is thus a global problem. However, the solutions must be local and must result from the mobilization of civil society through its awareness of this serious problem and desirably contributing to behaviour change while promoting sustainable development. The DARiACORDAR is a civil society non-profit association that aims at eliminating and recovering waste. It started its activity with the development, in partnership with ASAE (Portuguese authority of food safety) of procedures for recovering cooked food. In April 2012 it founded with other partners the Zero Waste Movement, creating a network for collecting surplus food with emphasis on cooked food. The Zero Waste initiative works through a system of governance based on partnerships among the various stakeholders, including the municipality, donors and food aid workers/volunteers. One of its advantages is that it can be replicated easily relying on the experience gained in the creation of the first networks. This network recovered by 2015, more than 1,200 tons of food equivalent to about 2.5 million meals with an estimated value of more than 6 million euros. We propose to introduce the association, its governance model and the innovative way it has contributed to the reduction of food waste in Portugal. We also aim to share the results of the pilot projects that are underway in some municipalities of the metropolitan area of Lisbon (AML), with particular emphasis on the recovery of cooked meals in different sectors of activity and its distribution to needed families with the collaboration of the municipal social service networks.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFood futures
Subtitle of host publicationethics, science and culture
EditorsI. Anna S. Olsson, Sofia M. Araújo, M. Fátima Vieira
Place of PublicationWageningen
PublisherWageningen Academic Publishers
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-8686-834-6
ISBN (Print)978-90-8686-288-7
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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