About us

In ThrefCE we unite forces for the consolidation and strengthening of Circular Economy at all stages of the Food System

Who we are

We are a non-profit organization
active in the circular food economy

Our Vision

A sustainable and resilient food system

Our Mission

.. to contribute to the implementation of the circular economy principles at all different stages
of the food production, processing, supply and consumption

Core values

  • We respect the limits of the planet
  • We acknowledge the impacts of food loss and waste on the natural resources, the economy and humanity
  • We seek and support ingenuity and innovation
  • We endorse the fundamental human right to food and the fair and equitable access to a variety of high value nutrition for all
  • We believe in solidarity and cooperation


  • The mitigation of natural resources’ degradation and climate change impacts require a holistic approach and a radical reform of the food system
  • The minimisation of food waste and the valorisation of organic waste generated during the production and consumption chain are inextricably linked to the sustainability of the planet and societies
  • Innovative technologies along the entire food supply chain provide vital tools against food loss and waste and the development of more efficient food systems

We are driven by the UN's global Sustainable Development Goal of "Ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns" and in particular the SDG 12.3 sub-objective that calls for the halving (50%) of the global per capita food waste generated in retail and consumption and the reduction of food losses along the production and supply chains by 2030.

The problem

One-third of the food produced for human consumption globally winds up lost or wasted at some stage of the production-consumption system with massive impacts on the economy and the environment. At the same time 30% of humanity does not have access to sufficient food.

Food loss and waste in the food supply chain in Greece

Production  Consumption  Processing
Storage   Primary Production

Food loss and waste refers to all food products grown, raised, hunted, fished and processed which are not ultimately consumed by humans. The loss and waste causes differ and may occur at any stage of the supply chain and consumption. Almost half of food waste is generated at harvest due to unacceptable quality or appearance. Some production is damaged during storage, processing and distribution. One third of the food waste represents products that have actually entered households or the hospitality/food service industry but are ultimately not consumed, because of either inefficient planning in purchasing supplies, or incorrect estimation of the quantities cooked or inappropriate management of leftovers.

Total food waste in the EU is estimated to have reached 58.4 million tonnes in 2021- the equivalent of around 131 kg per capita. In Greece, estimates suggest 2.05 million tonnes of food waste in 2020, or about 191 kg per capita.

Food loss and waste are global challenges which, if addressed rationally and creatively, have the potential to provide solutions to contemporary environmental and humanitarian needs.

At the same time, the production, transport and retailing of food is responsible for 1/3 of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, while landfilling causes additional emissions of methane and carbon dioxide.

The food system is responsible for

80% Land use degradation
61% Depletion of commercially valuable fish
60% Biodiversity loss/ land use change
30% Global GHG emissions
20% Overexploitation of groundwater aquifers

Did you know facts

Presently, contemporary intensive farming produces more food than needed to feed all people worldwide, while at the same time it poses extreme pressure on the earth’s natural resources

The year 2023 the number of people in extreme food insecurity exceeded 333mil

Food loss and waste accounts for 38% of the total energy consumed in the global food production and consumption system which is mainly dependent on fossil fuels

In 2050, the world population is estimated to reach 9.6 billion and it is projected that it will take almost three Earth-like planets to provide the natural resources needed to sustain modern lifestyles

What we do

ThrefCE acts as a transformation catalyst to a resilient circular food economy. We undertake initiatives that range from investigating and identifying the complex challenges in the food sector, designing innovative solutions and developing collaborative schemes that enable the transition towards socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable food systems.


We undertake primary research and develop solutions for each phase of the agri-food chain and consumption chain to support stakeholders, businesses, producers and consumers in reducing food loss and waste

We develop and promote new technologies in the management and valorisation of food waste streams in order to prevent/divert waste otherwise destined to disposal throughout the food chain, and alternatively repurpose it and generate new high-quality out of food by-products and/or surplus


Relying on research results and evidence-based proposals, we pursue the adoption and implementation of circular economy and food self-sufficiency policies at the national, European and global level.


We pursue exchange of knowledge and know-how and facilitate training and capacity building of public and private bodies, professional associations and related stakeholders in the fields of food waste management and recovery

We foster awareness raising for the minimisation of food waste by developing and supporting environmental education and awareness campaigns aimed at schools, targeted audiences and consumers


We reinforce effective governance of the food system by mobilising the participation of all stakeholders - authorities, businesses, scientific community, producers, retailers, NGOs, social actors, media and consumers - in the food waste management and recovery dialogue

We cultivate the development of synergies and innovative collaborative business models that support circular supply chains, the reintroduction of food waste in the food cycle and the creation of new added-value products

We promote the implementation of innovative ideas arising from university research or start-ups and the development of new supply chains and food markets

We support the development of funding proposals for the implementation of circular economy principles and practices

We provide up-to-date and reliable technical advice to public and private institutions in order to address food loss and waste challenges and build pioneering services for the commercialisation of food waste streams

Our Projects

Survey on food waste in 100 Greek restaurants

Upcycling Bread into Beer

Technological options for reducing food waste in the food service industry



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