Sustainable Innovation Pilot 9

Facilitating the transfer of surplus food from farms to socially disadvantaged groups, by aligning logistics and processes – Serbia & N. Macedonia

Food waste in Serbia is a big problem to ecology and sustainable development, with over 250,000 tons of food thrown annually. Voluntarily donating food does not bring tax breaks to retail chains in Serbia, which is a practice in the EU. The existence of VAT on donations does not allow producers and distributors to donate surplus food, which is then destroyed. Similar challenges are faced also in N. Macedonia. Processes of destroying food has a very bad influence on environment and are expensive for farmers and local food producers.

Challenge: The problem can be solved by aligning the logistics for safe destruction of surplus food, the estimation of the amounts of food that is to be thrown, with the procedures of intermediaries involving the transfer, storage and distribution of food to end users.

Sustainable innovation pilots activities:

a) A platform will allow for daily monitoring of food availability for donations of food and food waste. The app will connect agriculture holdings, supermarkets and other food producers and distributers with end users. Engage farmers in the following activities: Reduction of food waste; Simplify donor-mediator communication; Establishment of sustainable food supply infrastructure; Connect with a sustainable compost area.
b) Provide motives to retail chains to incentivize farmers and local food producers in a Corporate Social Responsibility framework offering them better terms of collaboration, thus contributing in rebalancing the value chain in favor of farmers and local food producers, introducing sustainable practices.

The contribution of the pilot to the three sustaibanility pillars of Ploutos will be the following:

economic (1)


Efficiency gains all across the value chain. Contribution to the sustainability of social kitchens and cost reduction for agrifood companies. Additionally, retail chains are expected to incentivize farmers and local food producers.



Access to food for social vulnerable groups.



Input reduction due to better utilization of inputs used to produce food and environmentally friendly production of fertilizers through the utilization of the compost facility.

The contributing partners are the following: