BSL to Host a Conference on Food Waste at IUCN

Business School Lausanne will host a one-day event around consumer food waste on Tuesday, 6th May, 2014 at the IUCN Conservation Centre in Gland. The event is organised in association with, the Swiss platform for the reduction of food loss and waste in Switzerland. The conference aims to identify innovative solutions to cut consumer food waste in half in Switzerland by 2018.

The world produces enough food to feed 14 billion people, yet almost a billion remain hungry. It’s estimated that one third of all the food purchased by consumers in Europe end in the waste bin. The impacts on the environment and society at large are enormous.

This event, in the form of an open-space dialogue and workshop, is targeted to professionals in any capacity in the food sector, as well as NGOs, social and community organisations, students and all members of the general public. Dr. Katrin Muff, Dean of BSL, will moderate the event using the “collaboratory” approach – a methodology introduced at the RIO+20 UN Summit. The success of the methodology lies in engaging, and co-creating, with a diverse group of participants, as it’s known that innovations often come from the periphery.

Come and experience co-creation at its best!


Violaine Berger, WBCSD, Director, Ecosystems & Agriculture
Alain Najar, EHL, Senior Lecturer, Food & Beverage Management
Catherine Martinson, WWF Switzerland, Head of Regional Work
Marc Nobs, Partage, Co-director
Markus Hurschler,, Director
Samuel Vionnet, Quantis International, Project Manager
Tessa Meulensteen, Unilever, Global Quality

Download the event program and details.

For more information:

More about the speakers:

Violaine Berger, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Director, Ecosystems & Agriculture

Violaine Berger leads the Ecosystems & Agriculture Cluster of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), a global coalition of some 200 companies focusing on sustainable development.  Among other responsibilities, she leads projects aiming to scale up business investments in natural infrastructure and in restoration of degraded land, as well as an initiative aiming to reduce food loss and waste across the agricultural value chain. She represents the WBCSD in the WRI-led “Food Loss and Waste Protocol” initiative.

She previously led the development and roll out of Business Ecosystems Training (BET), a capacity building program that aims to equip business with the skills they need to better measure, manage and mitigate their ecosystem impacts and dependencies. She is also coordinated the WBCSD’s Water Project work on the value of water, which recent developments include a Business Guide to Water Valuation.

Catherine Martinson, WWF SwitzerlandHead of Regional Work

Born in 1962 in Paris, Catherine Martinson grew up in Lausanne and began her studies in biology at the University of Lausanne. From 1983 on, she pursued her studies in geology and geochemistry in the USA, first at the University of Mississippi and then at the University of Colorado at Boulder where she obtained a Master’s Degree in Sciences. Back to Switzerland in 1988, Catherine worked 10 years as a geochemist for a consulting firm on projects of remediation of industrial landfills and contaminated industrial sites.

In 1998, she began to work for WWF Switzerland as a regional coordinator in Fribourg. Meanwhile, she studied at the business school in Fribourg and obtained an MBA in 2005. After a year as head of regional work in the Suisse Romande, Catherine became a member of the executive board of WWF Switzerland in 2007 as head of regional work, which is her current position.

Alain Najar, Ecole Hotelière de LausanneSenior Lecturer – Food and Beverage Management

Alain Najar is Senior lecturer at the world famous school Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), Switzerland, since 1992.  He is an EHL graduate, holds an MBA from the Business School Lausanne and is a Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute. His industry experience spans 13 years; Hilton International (10 years), Sheraton and the Accor group, in countries like Kuwait, Dubai, Madagascar, Syria and Egypt.

His area of expertise includes food & beverage management, food & beverage control and finance, quality management, auditing and mystery shopper, HACCP and, concept development, marketing in F&B, and innovation.

Alain regularly facilitates executive education programs at different levels all around the world (India, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Romania, UAE, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia). Several times he also delivered speeches at annual FCSI (Foodservcie Consultant Society International) conferences like Milan, Vancouver and Malta.

He is a member of the International Food and Beverage Forum of SAQ (Swiss Assurance Quality association) and of ASC (Swiss Association of Executives)

Markus Hurschler,, Director, Foodways Consulting, Managing Partner

Markus Hurschler earned a Bachelor of Arts with a specialization in International Management from the University of Applied Sciences, Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW) in 2010. Then in 2012 he was awarded a Master of Science degree in Sustainable Development from the University of Basel.

After graduating in 2012, Markus launched and became the Director of, an independent association based in Berne which brings together stakeholders from all relevant sectors, providing information, and serving as an interactive platform in the context of food waste.  In 2013 he became Managing Partner when he also launched Foodways Consulting GmbH. Its focus is on the development of a sustainable food sector by conducting projects on its own initiative, as well as with partners from the private, public and scientific sectors.

Samuel Vionnet, Quantis International, Project Manager 

Quantis is a company of world-leading experts in the field of environmental life cycle assessment. Quantis works with companies, governments and other decision makers to identify and implement the right actions for minimizing the environmental impact of products and services. Founded in 2006, the firm maintains its global headquarters in Lausanne (Switzerland) with branches in Boston, Montréal and Paris. With more than 50 LCAs in food products and industry processes, Quantis provides the highest level of proficiency in delivering state-of-the-art analysis in the food sector and solutions for organizations striving to be leaders in sustainability.

Tessa Meulensteen, Unilever, Global Quality

Tessa’s work is focused on retailers. A part of her role in the global Quality team is to define how Unilever can work together with retailers in order to reduce waste in the value chain. There are many different issues to consider, but losses due to damaged products form a big part of this. The main aim at the moment is to define where most of the waste is generated, how it can be measured and what are the focus areas to drive reductions.

Although working in the quality area at the moment, Tessa’s educational background is in governance for sustainability and sustainable supply chain management. One of the major topics of interest for her in this area is how the links between different partners in the chains can facilitate for a sustainable production and consumption.