Social innovation and collaborative governance: The case of surplus food redistribution

De Pieri, Benedetta and Calò, Francesca (2024). Social innovation and collaborative governance: The case of surplus food redistribution. In: Sinclair, Stephen and Baglioni, Simone eds. Handbook on Social Innovation and Social Policy. Edward Elgar, pp. 235–244.



Food security and waste are widely recognised as issues affecting all countries, albeit to different extents. They should therefore be acknowledged as a priority on the public policy agenda. The collection and redistribution of food surplus is one of several options that public and private actors have to tackle food security and food waste. Initiatives recovering surplus food for redistribution to those in need are prominent examples of SI and of intersectoral collaboration between public and private players. This chapter explores the characteristics of these social innovation processes, focusing on the patterns of interaction and collaboration between different actors. Based upon analysis of case studies from four European countries (Italy, Spain, Germany and France), the chapter examines if and how SI processes work in addressing food security, focusing upon enablers and barriers that support or hinder these processes.

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