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Plant food waste valorisation: Part of the wider food systems policy solution?

Reynolds, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-1073-7394 (2023). Plant food waste valorisation: Part of the wider food systems policy solution?. Paper presented at the Plant Food Waste Valorisation – Opportunities and Challenges, 10 Sep 2023, Leeds, UK.


Food waste is a major challenge for the global food system, affecting its sustainability, health, society and economy. Plant food waste valorisation is the conversion of plant food waste or by-products into higher value products that contribute back to the food supply chain. This process can reduce the environmental impact of food loss and waste, and create new opportunities for the bio-based economy. However, plant food waste valorisation faces competition from other food loss and waste solutions, such as waste to energy, animal feed, composting or anaerobic digestion. Therefore, it is important to understand and communicate how plant food waste valorisation can support wider food systems solutions and policy goals – drawing on concepts of policy synergy and policy coherence. I highlight the need for plant food waste valorisation and review a global evidence base to underline how valorisation is one of many solutions to food loss and waste in the food system. I draw on examples from my previous work in Australia (Van Biene et al., 2021) and Scotland (Thompson et al., 2023), where I examined how bio-refineries and valorisation fit into the wider food system, as a food loss and waste solutions. I discuss the benefits and challenges of emerging valorisation technologies: tensions of sourcing appropriate feedstock’s, as well as their potential impact on the circular bio-economy. I also address the role of policy and governance in enabling or hindering plant food waste valorisation, and how it can be integrated into a wider food systems policy framework. The aim of this talk is to provide an overview of the current state and future prospects of plant food waste valorisation, and to stimulate a discussion on how it can be part of the wider food systems policy solution.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Lecture)
Additional Information: Copyright, the author, 2023.
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management > Food Policy
[thumbnail of Reynolds Plant Valorisation Sept 2023.pdf]
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