This report identifies how external conditions (legislative, environmental, social and economic) can influence development of food waste conversion options, specifically through conversion of currently wasted food to animal feed.
It was reasoned within the REFRESH report ‘Technical guidelines food waste reprocessing’ (D6.7) that valorising wasted food for feed is possible through specialist licenced treatment plants complying with stringent biosecurity measures. Based on a risk/hazard analysis, a set of critical criteria for the processing has been formulated. It is concluded from economic and sustainability analysis that it may result in significant savings in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and economic cost-benefits.
The REFRESH report ‘Food waste prevention and valorisation: relevant EU policy areas’ (D3.3) analysed the policy context, specifically current EU policies and regulations, in the field of tension between demand for sustainability, safe and healthy food supply and resource efficiency.
This report integrates the view on actual barriers and opportunities for the intended valorisation option. As concluded in D3.3, current legislation heavily limits the use of side and waste streams containing animal products, in animal feeds. This document explores how such valorisation would be possible within the intended effect of legislation (actually intending to prevent unacceptable risks). Furthermore, we elaborate which factors are dominant in the economic model, and factors that may affect stakeholders’ (from consumers to producers) acceptance.
It is shown that there is ample room for valorising surplus/wasted food products from the processing, retail and food service sectors. Current legislation is the main hindrance for a substantial increase of valorisation. This legislation is arranged to maximally prevent risks of feed- and foodborne animal diseases. Connected to that are high administrative and practical burdens, which not only prevent valorisation of animal by-products but also significant amounts of other food waste streams. Allowing safe pathways – that still fulfil the intended safety standards as intended with current legislation – could take away practical hindrances. The research shows that in regions with sufficiently large supply the options are economically competitive to current (generally less circular) feed supply.
Broeze, J., Luyckx, K., 2019: Identification of food waste conversion barriers. REFRESH Deliverable 6.11.