The Dutch Taskforce Circular Economy in Food (Dutch National Platform) was launched during the National Food Summit in the Netherlands (26 January 2017). It is currently composed of 25 members from the entire food supply chain, from SMEs to food multinationals, and is supplemented with members from and civil society and public organisations.

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.

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.

 

Members of the EU Platform meet with food waste entrepreneurs from the "Taskforce Circular Economy in Food"

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.

Dutch King receives food waste product gift basket at the Wageningen University Alumni Day

Saturday 23 June 2018 Wageningen University celebrated its 100th anniversary with the World Wide Wageningen Alumni Reunion. His Majesty King Willem-Alexander officially opened the alumni day on Wageningen Campus. Representatives from the REFRESH pilot initiative “Verspilling is Verrukkelijk” took the opportunity to offer a gift to the Dutch King: a basket full of food surplus products. 

 

 

The first surplus food shelf in the Netherlands opened in March 2018 at George Verberne’s Jumbo supermarket in Wageningen. This store shelf features products made from ingredients which would otherwise have been wasted. As part of REFRESH, Wageningen University & Research is using this living lab for research into the consumer acceptance of such surplus products.

The goal of the REFRESH Final Conference will be to showcase the results of the REFRESH project and spur future action on food waste among business, policy, research, and civil society. 

The Dutch REFRESH national platform "Taskforce Circular Economy in Food" will organise an interactive event for TCEF Members, Dutch Champions 12.3 and international frontrunner organisations. Using “Appreciative Inquiry”, the participants will share experiences and best practices, and develop new plans for action to contribute to the SDG 12.3 target by 2030. 

Field Visit to THREE-SIXTY: Ecosystem for circular economy in action

On the 28th of November 2017, EU commissioner Andriukaitis (Health and Food Safety) and Minister Schouten (Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, NL) visited the ‘Food Waste Factory’ in Veghel, located in THREE SIXTY, the heart of the Dutch ecosystem for circular economy in food. They met with the Dutch frontrunners on food waste prevention.

In July 2017, REFRESH reached out to consumers in its four pilot countries (The Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Hungary) to complete a survey on food and drink products. The purpose of the research is to investigate different contents and formats of on-pack information and their effect on consumer understanding and food waste behaviours in these four EU member states. The results of the survey will be disseminated towards the end of 2017.

Press release: Dutch platform kicks off

The Dutch Taskforce, launched in January 2017, aims to contribute to preventing and reducing food waste, and become an international frontrunner in the valorisation of agri-food residual streams. The Taskforce is a coalition of companies across the full food supply chain, national and local authorities, a civil society organisation and other invited members. The first official meeting took place in March 2017.