Finicky eating habits and wasteful processes have led to a system that discards millions of tonnes of food each year, but new approaches are salvaging the scraps we never see to make products that people will want to eat. The EU Research & Innovation Magazine HORIZON published an article on how innovations from REFRESH and other projects offer different possibilities to valorise by-products from food production.
From the increasingly-popular OERei™ to Friendly Fish™ sustainable fish food and Bloosom™ soil improver, Protix are processing insects – cultivated on fruit and vegetable residues – into a wide variety of products. "And there are many more applications in the pipeline," says Tarique Arsiwalla, founder of one of the first 'insect factories' in the world and a member of the Taskforce Circular Economy in Food (TCEF). The Taskforce is one of four national platforms launched within the REFRESH project.
From a magic box which allows consumers to buy surplus food from shops and restaurants, to an exclusive liqueur made from recovered apples, Dutch start-up entrepreneurs are driven and creative in the fight against food waste. Four of them tell their stories.
Crooked cucumbers, two-legged carrots, pears too big - or too small. In the Netherlands, more than 10% of all fruit and vegetables grown will not be sold, because they don’t fit the accepted norms. Kromkommer wants to change this perception of ‘beauty’. "We’re giving fruit and vegetables back their rights.", says founder Chantal Engelen.
A broad, cross-sector approach to halving food waste and optimizing the value of (unavoidable) residual flows is the keystone of the European program, REFRESH. "We gather knowledge and insights and make them available to other countries," says Toine Timmermans, spokesperson for the Dutch Taskforce Circular Economy in Food (TCEF), one of four national platforms launched within the REFRESH project.
Do not waste anything. That is the mission of the Helmond company, VanrijsingenGreen. "We sow, harvest and sell vegetables sustainably. And we create added value from what is left over, processing it into products such as carrot pulp and kale juice ", says Jan van Rijsingen, former director of the family business and now board member of the Taskforce Circular Economy in Food (TCEF). TCEF is one of four national platforms launched within the REFRESH project.
Entrepreneur Bob Hutten is convinced that the key to reducing food waste is cooperation. In the hothouse atmosphere of his THREE-SIXTY Innovation Center in Veghel, he brings together parties, inside and outside the food chain, to brainstorm new solutions. "We have to start thinking in terms of systems", says Hutten, member of the Taskforce Circular Economy in Food (TCEF). The TCEF is one of four national platforms launched within the REFRESH project.
From fruit liqueurs and carrot juice to fish food made with insects, Dutch entrepreneurs are launching one innovation after another in their fight against food waste. This was evident during the Taskforce Circular Economy in Food (TCEF) event, held, on 1 October 2018, for Taskforce partners and members of the European Food Losses & Food Waste platform. The Taskforce is one of four national platforms launched within the REFRESH project.
The conference "Circular Economy - Scaling up market solutions in wholesale & retail" will take place on 17 October 2018 in Brussels, Belgium.
The REFRESH Spanish Platform has been cooperating with members on food waste reducing actions since 2016. Since then, pilot projects looking at whole supply chains, consumer acceptance studies, and food waste in hospitality have been carried out, alongside baselining and multiple meetings to share good practice and collaborate on open questions.