Anja Herkner
Institute of Rural Studies

Bundesallee 64
38116 Braunschweig
Phone: +49 531 596 5501
Fax: +49 531 596 5599

Efficient reduction of food waste in wholesale and retail trade


Shopping Trolley in Supermarket (c) khwaneigq -
Shopping Trolley in Supermarket (© khwaneigq -

Dialogue Forum on Wholesale and Retail Trade

Nearly 500,000 tons of food waste were generated in the German wholesale and retail trade in 2015. We want to support the trade to halve them by 2030.

Background and Objective

According to the Federal Government's National Strategy for Food Waste Reduction, total food waste is to be halved by 2030. In order to achieve this goal, all players in the supply chain and consumers are required to act.

With the existing data bases in the trade sector, it is not possible to quantify waste quantities reliably, which makes it difficult to set reduction targets. The aim of this project is therefore to quantify and analyse food waste in the wholesale and retail sector in order to map trends from 2015 onwards. Based on this, concrete measures will be developed to reduce food waste.


In order to promote the transfer of knowledge between science and the companys, project results are communicated within the framework of a regular dialogue forum of the wholesale and retail trade. This trade forum is closely linked with the other sector-specific dialogue forums and the national dialogue forum. In addition, monitoring and accounting options will be developed in order to create benchmarks and thus to identify the progress of companies. Voluntary agreements will be concluded between the BMEL and trade companies or associations in order to achieve the goals formulated in the National Strategy for Food Waste Reduction.

Data and Methods

Positive examples from Germany and neighbouring countries, documentation of research projects, interviews with experts and specialist literature serve as a basis for information. In addition, actors from the wholesale and retail trade will be involved, who are able to provide a new database.

Preliminary Results

Our analyses of the overall system not only aim to gain scientific knowledge and provide scientifically based policy advice, they also aim to sensitise society to the issue. The collection of company data on food waste can pave the way for continuous monitoring, which offers the opportunity to identify particularly effective starting points for food waste reduction.

Knowledge about sustainable measures shall be optimised and disseminated through the exchange in the dialogue forum. As a result, and supported by the voluntary agreements between trading companies and political bodies, food waste is to be reduced over the next three years. 

Links and Downloads

Lebensmittelwertschätzen - Dialogforum Groß- und Einzelhandel

CSCP - Dialogfoum Groß- und Einzelhandel

Beteiligungserklärung der Teilnehmenden

Pressemitteilung - Handel unterzeichnet Erklärung: Lebensmittelverschwendung reduzieren


Involved Thünen-Partners

Involved external Thünen-Partners

Funding Body

  • Bundesprogramm Ökologischer Landbau (BÖLN)
    (national, öffentlich)


8.2019 - 8.2022

More Information

Projekt type:
Project funding number: 2819NA019
Funding program: Bundesprogramm Ökologischer Landbau und andere Formen nachhaltiger Landwirtschaft (BÖLN)
Project status: ongoing

Publications to the project

hits: 1

  1. Schmidt TG, Orr L (2020) Lebensmittelabfälle - Messen ist der erste Schritt zu wirksamen Reduzierungsmaßnahmen [online]. Recht Z Eur Lebensmittelrecht(1):34-37, zu finden in <> [zitiert am 01.04.2020], DOI:10.23789/1868-0763-2020-1-30