Last Minute Market

Project information

Index: 0620R2
Priority:2: Environment and risk prevention
Sub Theme:Energy and sustainable transport
Location ITALY NORD-EST Bologna Emilia-Romagna Start/End date of the practice
Start: 1998
End: ongoing

Topic of the practice

Resource and energy efficiency

Good Practice Information

In 1988 the University of Bologna developed the Last Minute Market project to reduce trade sector waste. The main objective was to reduce food and goods waste through creating a market and value for unsold goods. This achieves positive environmental and social impacts. The project was developed as a research project to analyse all the steps of the agricultural supply chain and to identify where and why waste arose. After years of research and study, Last Minute Market developed in 2000 as the first professional system in Italy to reuse unsold goods in large retail chains. The logistical and organisational models allow retrieval of many categories of unsold goods with security and quality, including fresh goods. Last Minute Market does not directly manage products and does not have the means to store, transport or collect goods. It enables suppliers and potnetial customers (i.e. demand) to meet and takes charge of the required security measures and other steps of the system.
The model has been expanded to other types of goods and to trade and manufacturing processes. The system now involves various companies, societies, schools canteen, shops, supermarkets, pharmacies, publishing houses etc. The project is divided in 4 phases: Phase 1) Identification of the “potential offer” of goods (unsold goods, damaged packaging, defective boxes, etc…) in retail shops. Phase 2) Indentification of the “potential demand”. For example many underprivileged members of society do not have access to traditional shops, and as such they they represent an unexpressed demand. Phase 3) Identification of the strategy to reduce waste and costs. The operating model is a win-win system, since all the users should have more benefits and less costs (retail shops, large retailers, fruit and vegetables markets, charity foundations, etc..) Phase 4) Security process of the retrieving system, administrative control of the different phases and logistical organisation.

Evidence of success

The impact that Last Minute Market has on the territory is monitored and an indicator of its success is the increasing number of applications to participate. The monitoring programme analyses the cost savings. As an example: 1) Hospitals: from the canteen of the Bologna hospital Last Minute Market saved 30 meals/day achieving a saving of 35.000 euro/year. 2) Pharmacy: from the collection of pharmaceuticals in municipal pharmacies a 11.300 euro/year saving was achieved 3) Schools: in 8 school canteens a saving of 8 tonne/year of cooked products is achieved, corresponding to 15.000 meals/year. Due to Last Minute Market work in some cases an agreement between public authorities and companies was signed, to reduce their waste disposal fees.

Contact details to obtain further information on the practice

Dr Matteo Guidi

Last Minute Market Srl

Annex completed on: 03-26-2012

As of 31 December 2015, this website is no longer updated. Follow news on interregional cooperation at