Sustainable foof systems


The thematic area of Sustainable Food Systems embraces the whole food value chain: from food production to consumption, from organic waste collection to treatment, in a circular perspective. Our food systems are currently inefficient. Agriculture has a tremendous impact on the environment as it affects the quality of our soils, air, and waters, while large amounts of food still go wasted from primary production (food losses) to food processing, from the HORECA sector to the end-consumer. From a waste management perspective, municipalities might as well encounter difficulties to implement separate collection systems for organic waste and valorise it. Looking at business innovations of the bioeconomy, the unavoidable share of food waste represents a significant yet untapped potential to produce alternative fertilisers and organic soil conditioner that can contribute to reduce the dependency on synthetic and imported fertilisers for food production. The whole food system functioning needs therefore to be reassessed within this circularity perspective to be able to support a systemic change in the production, consumption, distribution and treatment of food products. At the same time, food is not produced without healthy soils and clean freshwater. The sustainability of these resources is also addressed within the theme.

In our effort to promote sustainable management practices, ACR+ aims to support its members in better understanding the characteristic of their food systems, creating and extracting value from it, while working towards more climate resilient systems. We focus on urban and rural contexts, and on the linkages between the two. We aim to help the local authorities in our network to strengthen their capacity of managing resources and implementing activities, through the exchange of learnings and experiences from other territories, and through the interaction with the wealth of organizations that are part of our network.


  • The FOLOU project consortium met in Ghent to discuss the advancements of the project for the development of the Food Loss registry, the crop-specific methodology to measure food losses, and the upcoming development of learning materials for the wider public. More here.
  • Do you want to stay up-to-date with various case studies, initiatives, innovations, and more in Sustainable Food System (SFS)? We invite you to connect to the SFS innovation platform


  • New opportunity: EU grants to reduce consumer food waste - apply before 25 September! More here.
  • Are you a municipality or a group of stakeholders interested in understanding the volume of food losses generated in your territory, and willing to take action to reduce them?  Come and join the Twinning Region Program (TWRP) of the FOLOU project
  • Give your opinion on the three challenges to remote sensing to monitor soil health identified by PREPSOIL here.

Our work

ACR+ is currently involved in several projects tackling different stages of the food value chain. On primary production, the FOLOU project aims to set up a system for the quantification of food losses at farming level with a specific focus on 5 key commodities crops produced in Europe. The PREPSOIL project supports the implementation of the European Soil Mission through the identification and engagement of Soil Community of Practices and Soil Living Labs, and through the engagement of actors in assessing regional soil needs. The project aims to create long-lasting interaction spaces for soil stakeholders to exchange ideas and solution about soil health, and measures to preserve it. More on the upper-end side of the food value chain, a set of 23 solutions are being developed and tested in 3 pilots to reduce and prevent food waste within the Foodrus project.

Since the end of 2023, it is mandatory to offer separate bio-waste collection systems in all EU Member States. ACR+ is partner of the LIFE BioBest project where we mainstream best practices in the collection and treatment of biowaste, and the uptake of compost and digestate. To help businesses reduce their dependency on chemical fertilizers, with the FER-PLAY project ACR+ will promote the use  of alternative fertilizers while recovering nutrients from organic waste streams in urban areas. Within the HOOP project, ACR+ is also in charge of developing a network of cities and regions to facilitate the exchange of good practices on innovative recycling routes for the valorisation of biowaste.

Tools and resources


You can find below the most recent documents within the scope of the Thematic Area.

Relevant projects and initiatives



foodrus hoop Biocircularcities logo small PREPSOIL FOLOU logoSOILL Start up

If you want to get involved with our work on the Thematic Area or you have any questions please contact Agnese Boccalon (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).


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