Smartest agri-food region in Europe and leader in the fight against food waste!

april 26, 2018

Each year, Dutch consumers toss 2.5 billion Euros worth of food in the trash; food there is often nothing wrong with. Worldwide, over one-third of all food produced is thrown away. When viewed against the background of a rapidly growing world population and ever-increasing pressure on the food supply, this is unacceptable. Time for action! Companies, organizations, scientists, government and consumers are coming together to cut food waste throughout the entire food chain in half by 2030, from soil to mouth: united against food waste!

Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo is also involved in these efforts and has become a partner in the Taskforce Circular Economy in Food, an organization that shares these ambitions. The goal of all of the partners in the Taskforce is to accelerate the minimization of food waste, both in the chain and among consumers. Their ambitions are substantial: the Netherlands wants to be the first country to satisfy the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 12.3: “By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses.” This means that not only will the Netherlands become the smartest agri-food region in Europe but also the leader in the fight against food waste! Over the next four years, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality will be freeing up seven million Euros to support this Taskforce’s ambitions. The money will be invested in innovation, research, monitoring and education.

Saskia Goetgeluk, Director of the Campus in Venlo: “At the Campus, we are constantly looking for new applications for fruit and vegetables as well as new applications for waste. By gaining clear insight into the potential for reuse, recycling and revaluation, as a campus we can make an optimal contribution to the total reduction of food waste.” In addition to the Brightlands Campus Greenport Venlo, the Taskforce consists of 25 members including Rabobank, the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, McDonald’s Netherlands, the Netherlands Nutrition Center, Hutten Catering, Protix and Wageningen University & Research.

The food waste theme has been on the political agenda for some time now. This is the first time however that such large-scale cooperation is being seen throughout the entire food chain to achieve these ambitions.

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