Assembly of European Horticultural Regions

EU projects

Lowinfood : climate change impact of bread transport in Sweden

Read about the bread sector focus of the LowInFood low-waste project.

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AREFLH is a partner of the LOWINFOOD. The project gathers actors of the food chain who design together low-waste value chains by supporting innovations in the fruits & vegetables, bakery products and fish sector. 

LOWINFOOD supports the reduction of food loss and waste in the European Union by demonstrating innovative solutions following a multi-actor approach.  


In the framework of the project the partner SLU (the Swedish University of Agriculture Sciences) has published an article in the scientific journal “Sustainable Production and Consumption”. The article tackles the climate change impact of bread transport in Sweden. The authors identified long distances between bakeries and retails as the main contributor to transport climate impacts.   


Over one-third of the food produced globally is wasted, with recent estimates indicating that 17% is wasted solely at retail, food service and household level. This means that considerable amounts of food are both produced and transported in vain. As for the specific case of bread, it is one of the most frequently wasted food products in the European Union.  


In Sweden, roughly 20% of the total bread produced is wasted and almost all the bread distributed in Sweden falls under a take-back agreement. This involves combined delivery and pick-up of bread by the producers. This inevitably requires considerable transportation and logistics. Also, both long and short-distance transport is required. Nevertheless, no previous study had performed an in-depth assessment of the transport required to facilitate food waste transport in Sweden.  


This study showed that the current transport pathway for bread in Sweden has great potential to contribute to increased environmental sustainability within the food supply chain. An important finding was that the take-back agreement system is not the primary cause of transport-related impacts, but rather the distance between bakeries, consumers and waste treatment facilitates.  


For more information about the project, please visit the following media :


drapeau ue seulThis project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No.101000439

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