Efficient Resource Management: Interreg project FOODIS

Cross-border ecosystem for innovation and sustainability in the food sector value chains

A new, innovative EU project in the food value chain has been launched at the end of 2023 in the field of marketing at the Department of Business at Paris Lodron University of Salzburg (PLUS). The trans-national project will run for 26 months and aims to combat food waste and create added value for the region.

The starting point

In the EU, around 20% of food is wasted. This equates to 173 kilograms wasted per person per year. In Austria alone, 791,000 tonnes of avoidable food waste are generated every year, most of it in private households, gastronomy and production. In the state of Carinthia, 25 kilograms of food per person ends up in landfill every year. 27 percent of these are still usable fruits and vegetables.

This trend must be addressed. One of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is to minimise food waste worldwide. By 2030, this figure must be halved in retail and domestic consumption. The Italy-Austria Interreg project initiated at the end of 2023 between Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Carinthia aims to make the food systems of both regions more sustainable. In this cross-border cooperation project, Carinthia and Friuli-Venezia Giulia are pooling their knowledge in the fields of agriculture, IT, logistics, transformation and food security.

This cross-border project is coordinated by the lead partner, the Foundation and the Agrifood & Bioeconomy Cluster FVG. In Austria, the PLUS will work with LCAS, the Carinthian Competence Centre for Logistics, and the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, as well as the associated partners, the Carinthian state government and the Salzburg University of Applied Sciences, to implement the innovative food project. In Italy, the University Health Institute ASUGI and the national IT group INSIEL will also be involved in the implementation of the project, together with associated partners, the University of Udine and the regional ministry of health.

FOODIS objectives and pilot initiatives

The main objective of FOODIS is to create a collaborative cross-border ecosystem to achieve a smart, sustainable and inclusive transition of food value chains. Businesses in the two regions will be supported in their cross-border operations through shared advisory services, skills and modern logistics structures, enabling them to access new European markets. The planned ecosystem will be tested within the project through two pilot actions, one led and implemented by Carinthia and one by Friuli-Venezia Giulia, aimed at supporting sustainable and traded supply chains.

In addition to the digital mapping of the Carinthian food value chain, the LCAS pilot project in Carinthia includes the development of a digital platform for the collection, collective transport and sustainable storage of expired food and food waste that is not considered suitable for the market at the planned Alps Adriatic Food Hub in Fürnitz. The platform will also show how goods can be upgraded in innovative ways and recycled into new products. The aim is to promote circular business models (e.g. processing fruit and vegetables into new food products such as fruit and vegetable juices or fruit and vegetable spreads). The project also aims to digitalise and optimise the management and redistribution of food surplus through the development of a modular and scalable digital platform.


A third of all food is wasted on its way from the field to the plate. At the same time, millions of people around the world are starving. It is essential to promote the circular economy in all sectors and industries. Economy, innovation, sustainability and, at the same time, solidarity should be combined within the framework of efficient resource management. In the area of food supply chains, for example, this means that before food is thrown away, other, more sensible alternatives such as reuse and recycling should be explored.

Ultimately, the plan is to create a replicable model of a shared ecosystem at a cross-border level. The ecosystem will support companies in the food and logistics sector by systematising skills and services. For Carinthia, this means that the important regional food industry will gain more visibility and new sales opportunities can be created.

Project partners

In addition to the lead partner, Foundation Agrifood & Bioeconomy FVG, which has a lot of experience in the field of food value chains and international funding projects, the following internationally known project partners are also on board:

  • LCA Logistik Center Austria Süd GmbH
  • ASUGI Azienda Sanitaria Universitaria Giuliano Isontina
  • PLUS Paris Lodron University of Salzburg
  • WU Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien
  • Insiel S.p.A.

Advisory Partners

  • FH Salzburg GmbH / Department of Business & Tourism
  • Carinthian state government
  • University of Udine
  • Regional health directorate (Udine)

Project budget

The project is financed with EUR 900,000 from ERDF funds from the Interreg program Italy-Austria 2021-2027 and national funds and has a duration of 26 months.

Kiste mit Obst und Gemüse

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christine Vallaster

Paris Lodron University of Salzburg | Department of Business

Residenzplatz 9 | 5020 Salzburg | Austria

Tel: +43 662 8044 3453

Email to Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christine Vallaster

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