AWARENET: Agro-Food Wastes Minimisation And Reduction Network
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L de las Fuentes
AWARENET: Agro-Food Wastes Minimisation and Reduction Network L. de las Fuentes Gaiker, Spain. Abstract Despite of the economic importance of the food sector, during the last European Framework Programmes there has not been a global European vision addressing the environmental problems arising from agro-food wastes. AWARENET is the first network for agro-food wastes prevention, minimisation and valorisation focused on the main industrial sectors, i.e. meat, fish, dairy, wine and vegetables. 33 members - including two Newly Associated States - from 14 European countries integrate this network, co-ordinated by the Spanish Technology Centre GAIKER. The European Commission in GROWTH programme funds this initiative with a budget of 1.475 M for three years (2001-2003). This initiative results from the environmental issues in agro-food industries linked to the management of its emissions, especially regarding solid and liquid wastes with high organic load. The alternative of valorisation/up-grading processes for obtaining high added value compounds (proteins, oils, sugars, colorants, antioxidants.. .) against current destruction technologies for these wastes poses an attractive option for new business opportunities. The main objective of AWARENET is the co-ordination of activities leading to the prevention, minimisation and up grading of agro-food wastes at an European scale. It is a discussion forum for information exchange and technology transfer which conclusions will be finally gathered in a white book for the adequate management of agro-food wastes in Europe. Its main innovation is the integration of the agro-food industrial waste problem from three different and critical points of view: regulatory issues, technology and market, with the final objective to propose a global R&D European strategy for these wastes.