A third of all food is wasted

“Reducing food waste is one of the three most important things we can do to reverse global warming” 

Chad Frischmann, Climate expert

Flavour was a European collaborative project (2019 – 2022) involving 10 partners from Belgium, France and the United Kingdom, investigating new ways to

  • fight food waste
  • create job opportunities for the long-term unemployed
  • help people in poverty


We can avoid food waste by producing, buying and valuing food in a new way. If surpluses remain, we can create job opportunities by

  • distributing food surplus via platforms to food banks and social organisations
  • processing food surplus into new, longer lasting products


The distribution or processing of the food was mostly carried out by volunteers or employees within the social economy. These were often people who are struggling to find a job. By supporting them, FLAVOUR created a lot of social benefits.

Thanks to the calculations of VIVES Hogeschool and Marjon University, we learned that FLAVOUR created £87 million of social value in total.

Every pound invested in the initiatives yielded more than £9 of social return on investment.

VIVES Hogeschool and Plymouth Marjon University calculated this by using an existing method: the Social Value Engine, made by the Social Value Team in East Riding, Yorkshire. Thanks to the engine, one can calculate a monetary value to improvements on a social, human and environmental level.

Examples of these benefits are: increased employability for people with a distance to the labour market, increased self-confidence for employees and volunteers, reduced social isolation for community members, etc. The results are linked to UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). For more info, visit https://www.socialvalueengine.com/


Creating social jobs while fighting food waste isn’t always easy. We discussed these challenges during out event in June 2022 (video below).

The biggest challenges remain:

  • Becoming financially stustainable while trying to meet social and environmental goals.
  • The low costs for incinerating food surplus or turning it into cattle feed.


Business models

One way to make your social enterprise more resilient is by working together with different partners. If there is one thing we should remember from FLAVOUR, it would be that collaboration is key.

Policy recommendations

A second stimulus for social enterprises would be better supporting policies on local and national levels. Based on the experiences of the FLAVOUR partners, Feedback Global published several policy recommendations for the UK, Belgium, France and the EU.


Are you a coach or mentor in a social enterprise? Are you interested in tips and tools for supporting volunteers or social entrepreneurs?

Then the FLAVOUR Training Guide might be for you.

Access the free guide via this link: https://sites.marjon.ac.uk/flavourguide/