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Training the future workforce to battle food waste

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The Institute of Tourism Studies is one of the partners in the EU funded Life Foster project, aimed at reducing food waste in the restaurant industry.

Co-financed by the EU Commission LIFE Programme and led by the Italian network for VET, ENAIP NET, the LIFE FOSTER project aims at reducing waste in the restaurant industry.

Food waste has become a key priority on the European agenda, in the context of a drive towards reducing waste production more generally. This has been reflected in the European Commission’s 2015 Circular Economy Action Plan which lists food waste as one of its priority areas. Globally, 30% of food is wasted. (1)


The project will be implemented in France, Italy, Spain and Malta. The Institute of Tourism Studies, together with the Malta Business Bureau are the Maltese partners within the project.

LIFE FOSTER consists entirely of direct and indirect actions aimed at raising awareness about the problem of food waste and optimal food storage. The project will implement a bottom-up approach involving the education of trainee chefs, kitchen staff and front-of-house restaurant personnel.

This will be coupled with promotion of the project’s findings through seminars and workshops targeting restaurant staff and owners, networking with other LIFE projects dealing with food waste, and through the engagement of policy stakeholders. The Institute of Tourism Studies has identified lecturers who have been trained on methods of food waste management and reduction in restaurant environments. Throughout the course of the project, they will train other ITS lecturers, and in turn the lecturers will train the students.

The latter will use these techniques immediately, during work placements locally and abroad, resulting in these methods being adopted by restaurants in the short term through placements, and in the long term through employment.

By the end of the project, in 2021, the project aims at having 70 training VET centres involved, 500 trainers trained, 7,000 students trained, 3,600 companies and 10,000 professionals involved.

ENAIP NET (Italy) is the LIFE FOSTER project’s lead partner, with the Malta Business Bureau (MBB - Malta), Institute for Tourism Studies (ITS – Malta), Federazione Italiana Cuochi (FIC – Italy), University of Gastronomic Sciences (UNISG – Italy), Confederación Española de Centros de Enseñanza (CECE – Spain) and Agence nationele pour la Formation Professionelle des Adultes (AFPA – France) making up the rest of the consortium.