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Moving from Niche to Norm: Lessons from Food Waste Initiatives

Wageningen Economic Research, Wageningen University and Research, 2595 BM The Hague, The Netherlands
Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, Wageningen University and Research, 6700 AA Wageningen, The Netherlands
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Felicitas Schneider, Stefan Lange and Thomas Schmidt
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 7667;
Received: 10 June 2021 / Revised: 28 June 2021 / Accepted: 2 July 2021 / Published: 9 July 2021
For a transition to a circular economy to take place, behavioural change from people who are part of the transition is a key requirement. However, this change often does not occur by itself. For systemic behavioural change, policy instruments that incentivise behaviour supporting circular food systems play a key role. These instruments need to be aligned with the environment in which the behaviour takes place. In this study, we scrutinise a case study with five initiatives on the reduction of food loss and waste (FLW) contributing to a circular food system, to understand how specific, well-targeted combinations of instruments as well as other contextual and personal factors can fuel the transition to a circular economy and the reduction of FLW. All the initiatives are taking place under the umbrella of the Dutch initiative “United against food waste” (STV). We use a behavioural change perspective to assess how initiatives that support circular food systems arise and how they can be further supported. Based on the case-study analysis, we arrive at five common success traits and barriers, and five key needs for upscaling. We conclude that motivated, inspiring frontrunners are of key importance in the initial phase of a transition process. However, once a niche initiative is ready to be scaled up, the enabling environment becomes increasingly important. View Full-Text
Keywords: food waste; circular economy; case study; behavioural change food waste; circular economy; case study; behavioural change
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MDPI and ACS Style

Aramyan, L.H.; Beekman, G.; Galama, J.; van der Haar, S.; Visscher, M.; Zeinstra, G.G. Moving from Niche to Norm: Lessons from Food Waste Initiatives. Sustainability 2021, 13, 7667.

AMA Style

Aramyan LH, Beekman G, Galama J, van der Haar S, Visscher M, Zeinstra GG. Moving from Niche to Norm: Lessons from Food Waste Initiatives. Sustainability. 2021; 13(14):7667.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Aramyan, Lusine H., Gonne Beekman, Joris Galama, Sandra van der Haar, Maarten Visscher, and Gertrude G. Zeinstra. 2021. "Moving from Niche to Norm: Lessons from Food Waste Initiatives" Sustainability 13, no. 14: 7667.

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