Assembly of European Horticultural Regions


AREFLH is a partner of Waste4Soil EU project 

Turning food waste into sustainable soil improvers for better soil health and improved food system


Waste4Soil is a Horizon Europe project funded by the European Commission within the framework of the EU MISSION ‘A Soil Deal for Europe’. The Soil Mission aims to lead the transition to healthy soils via sustainable soil management. 


The project

Waste4Soil aims at developing applicable recycling technical pathways to transform Food Processing Residues (FPR) into soil improvers, through a circular, systemic and multi-actor approach. All food chain actors are involved at the regional level, thereby closing specific loops (nutrients, organic matter, water).

Indeed, all the stakeholders of the value chain have a role to play : improving management. The project envisions the development of 10 technological and methodological solutions for recycling food processing residues from the food industry into local, bio based circular soil improvers for improved soil health.

A user-driven standardized Evaluation Framework will support stakeholders from the food value chain, including waste managers, to assess their status towards food processing residues circularity and act for recycling suitable waste streams into beneficial soil improvers. 

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The Living Labs 

To ensure co-innovation and collaborative research, Waste4Soil will set up 7 Soil Health Living Labs across Europe, in Greece, Finland, Spain, Poland, Hungary, Italy and Slovenia, to study the valorisation of 8 types of food processing residues (i.e., meat, fish, dairy, cereals, olive oil, beverages (wine), fruits and vegetables, and processed food).  

The project focuses on assessing and improving the effectiveness of existing routes of food waste management to soil improver components, formulation and application methods by focusing on:  

  • Anaerobic digestion residues by employing novel nutrient separation including Selective Electrodialysis, bio-electrochemical and membrane systems  
  •  Novel efficient Biochar production from food processing wastes and digestates  
  •  Bio-Phosphate processing  
  •  Effective composting process of solid residues  
  • Protein hydrolysates acting as soil improvers and AD-Microalgae combined processes for soil bio-stimulants and  
  • An enabling management platform applied in all living labs, with a growing database of data analytics, route optimisation applications, soil health evaluations and application recipes, commercial aspects, and the capacity to use IoT devices in logistics.  

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Partners present in Thessaloniki for the launch of the project


June 2023 : kick off in Greece

On the 20th and the 21st of June 2023 , the Kick-off-Meeting of Waste4Soil was held in Thessaloniki. 

The two-day meeting was an opportunity for the project partner to meet each other and discuss the overall project strategy. The project officer from REA (Research Executive Agency of the European Commission) and the coordinators of the other project that are under the same topic were present. Work package leaders and task leaders also presented their planned activities and fine-tune management approaches and duties. 


The consortium

The Waste4Soil consortium gathers over 28 institutions from 9 European countries and Switzerland covering a broad range of actor (associations, universities, companies, institutions). The Horizon Europe project will run for the next fourth years and is expected to deliver its results in 2027.  

The partners involved:  

  • Project Coordinator: CERTH - Center for Research and Technology, Greece
  • ANIA - Association Nationale des Industries Alimentaires, France 
  • LAB - University of Applied Sciences, Finland 
  • Soilfood, Finland 
  • IRTA - Institut de Recerca i Tecnologia Agroalimentàries, Spain 
  • University of Parma, Italy 
  • AREFLH - Assemblée des Régions Européenne Fruitières Légumières et Horticoles, France 
  • LEITAT Technological Center, Spain 
  • Veolia/Sede Environnement, France 
  • 3R- BioPhosphate Ltd., Hungary 
  • ITENE - Instituto Tecnológico del Embalaje, Transporte y Logística, Spain 
  • LEGACOOP, Italy 
  • WINGS ICT Solutions, Greece 
  • Wagenigen University, Netherlands 
  • Confagricoltura, Italy 
  • Biomasa Peninsular, Spain 
  • Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation, Poland 
  • CluBE - Cluster of Bioeconomy and Environment of Western Macedonia, Greece 
  • DIADYMA S.A., Greece 
  • KOTO, Slovenia 
  • AMADORI, Italy 
  • University of Ljubljana, Slovenia 
  •  Bay Zoltan Nonprofit Ltd., Hungary 
  • Savonia University of Applied Sciences, Finland 
  • CSIC - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Spain 
  • ZRS Koper - The Science and Research Centre Koper, Slovenia 
  • Euroquality, France 
  • FiBL Switzerland - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Switzerland


The role of AREFLH in Waste4Soil

As a consortium member, AREFLH will be tasked with guidelines and tools for supporting territories to transform FPR into Soil improvement (SI), circular economy and business models and results exploitations, communication dissemination and exploitation and management (collaboration with sister projects).  


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Know more about Waste4Soil


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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement Nr. 101112708.

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