Food Redistribution in the Nordic Region

Experiences and results from a pilot study

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This report has a focus on waste prevention through redistribution of food to low-income people via charity organisations. Food redistribution can go via national food banks and via direct redistribution, often on a local level. Food banks in the Nordic region redistributed about 1.5 mill meals in 2013, and local charity organisations probably 2–3 times more. The regulatory framework for food redistribution is described and discussed in the report. The demand of and potential for redistribution is probably much higher than at present, and the report points out strategies and measures for how food banks can contribute to secure a further development.

The report is part of the Nordic Prime Ministers’ overall green growth initiative: “The Nordic Region – leading in green growth” – read more in the web magazine “Green Growth the Nordic Way.”




This report summarizes experiences from Phase I in a Nordic project on food redistribution through food banks and direct redistribution, as well as giving an overview of laws and regulations on the area. The project was initiated by the Nordic Council of Ministers as part of the Nordic Prime Ministers’ green growth iniatiative, The Nordic Region – leading in green growth, with budget from the Food and Agriculture program. The project has focused on redistribution of food that has been donated to prevent food waste, which means that ordinary sponsored food, either free of charge or to a very low price, is not included.


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