The report presents a summary of the first official food waste monitoring in Flanders at chain level and for each step in the agri-food chain. It also explains the framework, objective and approach of the monitoring.
By 2020 Flanders aims to achieve a 15% reduction in food losses and a higher valorisation of food waste throughout the agri-food chain.
The monitoring is the result of a public-private partnership and offers an insight into the efficiency with which the agri-food chain deals with food commodities in 2015. The agri-food chain makes priority efforts to prevent food losses (prevention).
In 2015, a total of around 16,400 tonnes of surplus food was given a social purpose in Flanders, which is an under-estimate. In the Flemish agri-food chain, from harvest to consumption, an estimated 3,485,000 tonnes of food waste were released in 2015. This is the total of the (edible) food losses and the (inedible, unavoidable) residues. 92% of all food waste is valorised. The largest proportion is valorised as animal feed (43% of all food waste), the highest possible valorisation on the food waste cascade, followed by anaerobic digestion (21%) and soil (17%). The cascade index of the Flemish agri-food chain in total is 8.2 (score between 0 and 10).
The Flemish agri-food chain is strong when it comes to the valorisation of food waste. Within the food waste, a distinction can be made between the edible (food losses) and the inedible fraction (residues). Three quarters (74%) of food waste are residues. Just one quarter (26%) of food waste in 2015 is food losses. Expressed in absolute figures, this equates to 2,578,000 tonnes of residues and 907,000 tonnes of food losses across the entire chain.