Every year, Austria produces large amounts of avoidable food waste - according to a study by the WWF, it is in the order of 800,000 tons to 1,000,000 tons. In addition to bread and pastries, fruit and vegetables in particular very often end up in the bin. But how are these quantities distributed within the value chain and what are the current figures in Tyrol? Finding this out for vegetables is one of the goals that Benjamin Hupfauf, Nina Viktoria Schaaf, Rosa Wagner and Pascale Rohrer from the Department of Environmental, Process & Energy Engineering want to work out in the course of the VerStraGem project within the framework of the Tyrolean science funding.
The project team is one of the first researchers in Tyrol to deal with the survey of vegetable residues explicitly in primary production. To this end, they conducted several interviews with farmers from the Tyrolean Inn Valley over the course of the year and verified the figures obtained in this way by accompanying harvesting and farm sorting on site. With the quantities determined, strategies for recycling are now to be developed and tested for feasibility.
The acceptance of these exploitation strategies - both on the supplier and on the buyer side - is of particular importance for implementation. To analyze this in the best possible way, one of MCI's great strengths, its interdisciplinarity, can be drawn upon: together with an expert in survey development, Dr. Wendy Farrell (Department of Business Administration online), survey interview guides and online questionnaires were developed.
The acceptance analysis is to shed light on four different perspectives on the initial situation and on possible solutions. Tyrolean farmers, processors, food retailers and consumers will be included.
The aim of the acceptance analysis, together with the quantity survey of vegetable residues, is to create an overview of the current situation. Above all, the opinions of the groups surveyed on the subject of food-vegetable residues are to be worked out. At the same time, possible opportunities, obstacles and framework conditions of possible utilization strategies and distribution channels will be investigated.
Since October 18th, 2022 the consumer survey is online and will soon be able to map the attitude of customers in the Tyrolean vegetable market.
At harvest: cabbage turnip with scab © Pascale Rohrer
Size comparison of cabbage turnip in the field © Pascale Rohrer
Demarcation of a plot of radishes © Pascale Rohrer
Vegetable residues in the field © Pascale Rohrer