The Grown not Thrown Campaign - EU farming community against food waste and looses

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The EU agricultural sector reafirms its commitment to preventing and reducing food losses and food waste The Grown Not Thrown campaign


Food and Feed

INTRODUCTION The reduction of food losses and food waste is a global priority that will contribute to ensuring a sustainable future. Indeed, as one of the Sustainable Development Goals, this challenge is high on the global agenda. This means that we all have a role to play. Current challenges need to be transformed into opportunities for a brighter future. By using natural resources as efficiently as possible and by minimising losses, European farmers and their cooperatives are already making a big contribution to managing food losses and food wastage. Indeed, Copa and Cogeca are committed to making the circular economy work. Fostering the circular approach by enhancing productivity whilst using natural resources efficiently is crucial. New business models to increase competitiveness can be created by optimising the use and re-use of resources. This is also a real opportunity to gain access to new markets. We therefore need policies to facilitate this. Farmers and their cooperatives have no reason to discard a product that has a value. In fact, agricultural products that do not meet the standards set out by EU legislation or by the market and which cannot be used directly for human consumption are used for food processing. If that is not possible, they are used for animal feed, for redistribution, for bioenergy purposes or for incorporation in the soil to increase the organic matter content. Agriculture is circular by nature and farmers always adapt quickly to close the circle.

OUR WAY FORWARD OUR WAY FORWARD Despite all the efforts already made, the sector is still facing certain challenges that need to be tackled. So let’s get to work! Focusing our actions on behaviour We believe it is very important to focus the discussions and actions on the concept of “wastage”, which relates to an individual’s behaviour. It is important to identify situations in which the actions or behaviour of the operator lead to the disposal/elimination of a product, which could otherwise have been marketed as a food product or recovered through other means. Therefore, it is essential to make a clear distinction between what is “avoidable” and what is “non-avoidable”. When defining food losses, it is important to consider that several factors affecting primary agricultural production go beyond farmers’ control, such as adverse weather conditions, pests and diseases. Including such losses in food waste statistics would give the wrong idea, as it would overestimate food losses and food waste without addressing the real issue: behaviour.

Promoting “recovery”, use and re-use of agricultural products, co-products and by-products Greater focus on optimising and re-using resources is an opportunity for new business models to emerge and enhance the competitiveness of the EU agriculture sector. For instance, the idea of using residues from initial harvesting activities or co-products from primary raw material processing in other business activities is promising and should be promoted. The circular economy is a real opportunity to develop and efficiently manage alternative processes and products as well as gain access to new markets. Agri-food value chain operators are making efforts to implement applied research and to facilitate the transfer of knowledge.

Valuing and better understanding our food

Ensuring that unfair trading practices are tackled

Raising awareness, educating people about food and cooperating are essential elements to prevent and reduce food losses and food waste.

Improving farmers’ position in the food supply chain is essential. Unfair trading practices such as cancelled orders and last-minute order changes have a negative impact on the prevention and reduction of food losses and food waste. In addition, market disruption resulting in a farm gate price that does not cover production costs is a UTP that needs to be tackled. This is why legislation, voluntary agreements as well as monitoring, controls and enforcement are essential to protect farmers, improve their position in the food chain and avoid UTPs.

In many countries, farmers and their cooperatives are part of food redistribution networks to facilitate donations of agricultural produce. This must be promoted. Campaigns to raise awareness of the value of food and to improve understanding of date markings on food packages or how to better store food at home are also vital in order to better inform people and to prevent waste.


Facilitating and promoting access to modern agricultural techniques Technology is essential and needs to help farmers meet current challenges. Indeed, modern agriculture is evolving, and innovative agricultural techniques and practices help farmers increase efficiency and reduce the amount of natural resources necessary to meet different demands. For example, precision farming can help farmers prevent and reduce losses. This is why facilitating and promoting access to technology can be very beneficial. Farmers need to be equipped with a toolbox that allows them to overcome current and future challenges. Farmers and breeders need to be increasingly innovative to deal with the challenge of feeding a growing world population with limited resources and increasingly variable weather events, ranging from floods to drought. For example, we need to develop new plant varieties which are resistant to water and heat stress as a way of adapting to climate change. European farmers and their cooperatives need access to technological advancements in order to meet the upcoming challenges and to remain competitive. Yet for investments to be made, breeders need legal certainty and a well-functioning EU single market. Plant health is also being undermined by the lack of effective tools, be they mechanical, chemical or biological. Farmers are faced with a decreasing availability of plant protection products, either because they have been phased out due to new legal requirements or because of changes to the European Union’s maximum residue limit system. This is even worse for minor uses and specialty crops, such as rice or most fruit and vegetables. For these crops, the lack of plant protection products is becoming a growing problem that needs to be addressed. The situation could be remedied, for example, by improving the functioning of the mutual recognition system for plant protection products under Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009; simplifying the criteria and fast-track procedures for basic and low-risk active substances; and tackling the lack of proper solutions for minor uses and specialty crops. In the area of animal health, we would like to stress the importance of good hygiene, proper animal nutrition and an appropriate environment and animal husbandry. These elements are farmers’ top priorities and play a


crucial role in disease prevention. Nevertheless, despite such measures, animals can still get sick and need to be treated for both animal health and welfare reasons. Appropriate treatment and veterinary medicines should therefore be available in all EU Member States and for all species. Minor uses and minor species – which still face a substantial lack of veterinary medicinal products – should also be covered.

Continuing to use marketing standards as a common language EU marketing standards are understood to serve as a common language, ensuring a level playing field. The number of marketing standards has already been considerably reduced. In many cases, transactions do not take place physically and operators make their orders on the phone or electronically. The product identities laid down in marketing standards help establish a minimum set of requirements to ensure high quality, fair competition, market transparency and consumer information and protection. Marketing standards also contribute to avoiding market distortion between producers in Europe and third countries. Initiatives to promote so-called “ugly” fruit and vegetables can also meet the expectations of some consumers and should therefore continue.

For more information about the initiatives, check

What is the EU farming sector already doing? Giving the EU agricultural sector a sharper focus on the circular economy represents a great opportunity, one that we are strongly committed to. This marks an important step towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, which requires full commitment from the sector as a whole, consumers and the various different authorities. In their day-to-day business, EU farmers and their cooperatives are already involved in many initiatives that aim to prevent and reduce food losses and food waste. These encompass cooperation, food education, raising awareness, public-private partnerships, new business opportunities, modern agricultural techniques and innovative solutions that help to create and scale-up new or existing ideas, to name just a few examples. It is now time to delve into these existing initiatives, to promote them and to inspire more actors to join in.

When farmers contribute to

food aid and to tackling food waste SOLAAL France

“I cannot bear to see people going hungry in my country”. It all began with this outcry, voiced by Jean-Michel Lemétayer, former FNSEA and COPA president. This was followed by an evaluation of existing food aid based on a meeting held between French players within the agri-food sector, invested policy-makers and food aid associations.

Fleshing out what already exists There are, of course, a number of solidarity-based actions that already exist, but there is room for improvement notably in the agricultural sector. Firstly, donations are time-consuming. Farmers, who wish to donate, often do not know how to or do not have the time because they have to continue to manage their farms. Product deposits are untapped: fruits and vegetables not complying with the size criteria go unsold despite being fit for consumption, pallets are refused by retail platforms, surpluses occur when the market is saturated (cf. Russian embargo). Moreover, food aid associations state that there is a deficit in fresh products (fruit and vegetables, eggs and dairy products) because food aid, be it at European or national level, for the most part provides dried, preserved

and frozen products or products with a long shelf life. In addition, medical studies have shown that those who rely on food aid are more susceptible to diseases linked to an unbalanced diet (e.g. cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity). Finally, logistics (recycling, packaging and transportation) come at a cost for both the donors and the associations.

Facilitating food donation SOLAAL was founded to lift these constraints and to salvage unsold goods fit for consumption. SOLAAL (Solidarité des producteurs Agricoles et des filières Alimentaires, Solidarity between agricultural producers and the food sector) is an association recognised as pursuing charitable purposes, that manages the donation process for farmers and cooperatives and acts as a mediator between them and the food aid associations. Since it was set up in 2013, 13,500 tonnes of products have been donated to food aid associations, the equivalent of 27 million meals. 99% of these products are fresh products.

A local approach based on partnership In order to create territorial dynamics, notably with local players, and to optimise flows, SOLAAL test runs the following small-scale pilot actions before putting them into practice on a larger scale: ◆◆ Collecting unsold fruit and vegetables on the wholesale market ◆◆ Supervised in-field gleaning - based on an agreement - with employment centres or students on study-work programmes ◆◆ Reverse logistics with a retailer who, after supplying their stores, recovers products from an agricultural holding, which they bring back to their retail platform. Seeing that the associations regularly come to recover products, they also take agricultural products. SOLAAL is the only association that facilitates donations between farmers and food aid associations and seems to have no equivalent in Europe. This service is free of charge for donors and beneficiaries alike.


An example of how producer

organisations can reduce supply chain food waste ANGLIAN PEA Growers UK

Anglian Peas is a producer organisation made up of 120 producers who farm about 3,500 hectares of land. The producers sell their produce to Ardo, a frozen fruit and vegetables business. All peas go to the frozen market and Expo is the freezer contractor. The producers draw up a balance sheet of the total amount they have to produce and divide it by the total number of hectares available. This is done in the knowledge that early and late season crop is unlikely to produce as much, and so this risk is shared across the whole of the producer organisation. The cooperation and sequential drilling agreement between the different growers means that not all peas are being produced at the same time. Instead, the peas come to maturity at staggered times across the season, ensuring that the freezer house is as full as possible for as long as possible. A tenderometer is used to measure the maturity of the peas and ensure that the harvest is not too early. Indeed, specification issues are vital and are the main reason for waste. They may also lead to peas being grown on the continent and packed in the UK. If the season is very hot, particularly if night-time temperatures remain in the midteens, then the crop can mature too early. In this case, peas can go for animal feed. By working together, if one producer within the grower group does not meet the volume specified within the contract, then another grower within the group may have a surplus, and can compensate for this. This ensures that growers meet their contract or forecast figures and find a beneficial use for excess produce. Normally, it is the climate and weather which affect the yields. As a result, if one farm in the PO sees a reduction in yield, it is likely that this will be the case for others too as they would have experienced the same growing season conditions. However, different land conditions as well as soil type and aspect do mean that there can be variations in how weather affects the yield of a product.


Added value created for out-

of-spec fruit & veg by people with disabilities LAARHOEVE

The Netherlands The development farm Laarhoeve is a farm which focuses on the employment of people with physical and mental disabilities. Laarhoeve offers its workers a clearly structured day, filled with tasks and activities for them to complete. The farm thus helps them to participate in society, providing them with a vocation. The activities focus on the preparation of all kinds of processed food products using fruit and vegetables that fail to meet specifications. The project thus simultaneously provides out-of-spec fruit and veg with a role in the food supply chain, and people with disabilities with a role in society. The produce is mainly commissioned by other companies under a private label, but a small proportion is produced for the Laarhoeve own brand. Laarhoeve cooperates with colleges in the area of food technology and food innovation. Students create new ideas and recipes. Laarhoeve makes all kinds of products: jams, juices, relishes, chutneys, tomato ketchup, products made of outof-spec eggs, meals, etc. In this way, Laarhoeve has created an opportunity for small-scale processing of out-of-spec fruit and vegetables in the area. These fruit and vegetables would otherwise not be processed because the quantities are too small for large-scale processors. The farm is able to compete with the large-scale processors (in price) due to its social labour component. A completely new production plant is currently being built because the old facilities were getting too small.

Using the know-how on

animal nutrition to create a new type of feed

Apps and tools developed

in Finland to connect producers, restaurants and consumers ResQ Club, Lunchie & FiksuRuoka/SmartFood Finland

◆◆ ResQ Club: or Lunchie: An easy and quick app for restaurants and consumers. Restaurants can turn surplus food into a serious business by selling surplus food to customers. At the same time, they can attract new customers and show that they care about the environment. Consumers can enjoy good quality, inexpensive restaurant food that would otherwise go to waste, and can get to know local restaurants. ◆◆ FiksuRuoka/SmartFood:

NEALIA (animal nutrition branch of the cooperatives VIVESCIA and LUZEAL) France

NEALIA has used its know-how as a specialist in animal nutrition to create a new type of feed: wet compound feed, formulated and manufactured with the same rigour as dry compound feed. This wet compound feed provides a triple benefit: 1. economic: avoiding the cost of dehydration 2. environmental: ◆◆ adding value to by-products of processing (from the starch and biorefining industries, etc.): potatoes removed during sorting, distillers’ grain, bran, wheat gluten, etc. ◆◆ Reducing greenhouse gas emissions 3. nutritional: improving the nutritional performance and palatability of food

The start-up company Fiksu Ruoka Oy (Smart Food Company) was established in 2016. The idea behind the business is to reduce food losses in Finland by purchasing food products which would otherwise be discarded (due to damaged packaging, expired best before dates, etc.) from importers, wholesalers or producers and selling them to consumers at a very low price in an online store. The products are then delivered to customers across Finland. The company started in the founder’s garage. Today, it has five employees and 40 suppliers, as well as 13,000 Facebook friends!

This project has arisen in light of the high availability of by-products locally. This answers to suppliers expectations (adding value to their products/by-products and saving energy), livestock producers (optimising costs and performance in livestock farming) and society’s (reducing waste and greenhouse gas emissions).


Promoting best practices in

the food supply chain WASTELESS Hungary

The Hungarian National Food Chain Safety Office (NFCSO) launched its national Wasteless (Maradék nélkül) programme with the financial support of the European Union’s LIFE sub-programme in 2016. The Wasteless programme aims to identify problems that lead to food waste in the food industry, retail and catering sector, to find ways of preventing food waste, and to help to disseminate relevant good practices in both the economic and public sectors. The 4 guides are soon going to be accessible in the regularly updated official website (www.maradeknelkul. hu/en/) of the Wasteless project both in Hungarian and in English. The website provides information with respect to international news and articles, good practices both for average consumers and professionals as well. Besides the website, different platforms of social media are updated on a regular basis (Facebook, Instagram). Content sharing is continuous on these platforms, aiming to reach one of the primary target groups – adults and young adults –with the dissemination activities. Great emphasis is also put on the long term sustainability of the impact of the project. Therefore a dominant part of the effort aims at the education and motivation of children. The experience in food safety education proved that primary schools are great partners in the food related programmes of NFCSO. Reaching 5 000 children is expected with the competition (based on online quiz) called “NFCSO-School Programme” and the most outstanding four classes (approximately 120 students) could participate in the Summer Camp Programme. A text book and workbook have been created for children, and the teacher’s guide has also been prepared to address teachers during the project period.


These education materials are available and downloadable from the official website of the project (www. The Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture is member of the Governing Board of this project. The Chamber is helping with technical advice the implementation of the project.

Farmers and consumers

together to fight food waste The ‘Spesa in Campagna’ project Italy

The ‘Spesa in Campagna’ project (‘Grocery shopping in the countryside’) launched by Cia-Agricoltori Italiani is based on a commitment made jointly by both farmers and consumers to fight food waste. Farms taking part in the project promote the direct selling of their produce on the farm and in local markets across Italy. Intermediaries are cut out of the equation, thus reducing the risk of generating food waste. Moreover, it is worth highlighting the instructive value of direct sales, which comes from the direct contact between consumers and producers. For farmers, there is no such a thing as waste. Farmers never throw away anything that comes from their land and as a result of their hard work. However, ‘less beautiful’ or even ‘ugly’ produce –produce that is perhaps a little bruised or battered, or a bit ‘wonky’– can be of high quality too. Blemished vegetables and fruits might be less ‘pretty’ to look at, but the high quality is very much there. And so waste comes as a result of misguided beliefs. The ‘Spesa in Campagna’ project is a way for farmers to try and reverse this by conveying their ‘no-waste culture’ values to consumers.

How to attach more value to

by-products from the fruit and vegetables sector Indulleida Spain

Indulleida was founded in 1980 in Spain and is now one of the leading fruit processing companies. It has a 220,000 m2 production facility and produces purees, concentrates and other by-products/derivatives. Its shareholders are made up of 170 fruit cooperatives and packing houses which represent more than 18,000 farmers throughout Spain and southern France. Indulleida believes that the future is based on the circular economy, optimising natural resources and at the same time reducing energy consumption. Indulleida was established thirty-eight years ago by an association of cooperatives and horticultural centres in order to provide an outlet for fruit that was not suitable for the fresh market or that was surplus and could not be used up by consumers. Over the course of these thirty-eight years, we have learned that all business activities must be based on the principles of balanced, sustainable and responsible development, and be able to generate solutions to tackle the new social and environmental challenges. Indeed, Indulleida provides added value to each and every one of their products by paying specific attention to requirements and by offering quality and a comprehensive service that encompasses products, services, counselling and information. This is a service that allows customers, shareholders and suppliers to increasingly value processed fruit.

◆◆ Recovering fruit skins to obtain fibre, as well as essential oils, sugars and polyphenols ◆◆ Recovering the aromas of the fruit to obtain natural aromatic extracts to be used in food and cosmetics ◆◆ Recovering by-products from different fruits and vegetables so as to prepare ingredients for feed ◆◆ Recovering the water used in fruit processing, optimising the organic matter and the nutrients it contains to fertilise and transform rainfed land into irrigated land ◆◆ Replacing several pieces of internal diesel fuelled transport equipment with items powered by electricity ◆◆ Generating electricity, steam, hot water and cold water from a highly efficient cogeneration plant. ◆◆ As a result of this work, they have witnessed: ◆◆ A waste recycling rate greater than 99% where the fruit is used more ◆◆ Less water poured into channels, lower indirect emissions of CO2, lower consumption of reagents and lower generation of sludge from the biological treatment plant when running fertigation ◆◆ New business opportunities through developing new ingredients.

Community is very important to Indulleida. Indeed, they continue to work towards common progress in the local environment and are actively involved with social actors, such as the University of Lleida, Banc dels Aliments, FESBAL and the Cooperatives Foundation. Moreover, many measures and new business ideas have been implemented over recent years to prevent and reduce food losses by attaching more value to different by-products and by minimising the environmental impact of the activity. These include:


Resourceful techniques and

waste-minimising technologies to avoid waste in the sugar sector British sugar UK

As the sole processor of the UK’s sugar beet crop, British Sugar produces up to 1.4 million tonnes of sugar for the British and Irish food and beverage markets each year. They have invested around £250 million over the last five years to continuously improve the use of raw materials, installing leading technology in energy efficiency, gas and water treatment. Avoiding waste By using resourceful techniques and waste-minimising technologies, many of the by-products of the sugar beet production are able to serve a useful purpose in other processes. There is a long list of products generated by the processes involved in growing sugar beet and extracting sugar from the harvested crop. Firstly the pulp, left over after the extraction of the sugar, is pressed to generate over 500,000 tonnes of high-quality animal feed. The feed provides useful energy food for a wide range of livestock including, cattle, sheep, pigs, goats and horses.


The production of TOPSOIL, a brand of high-quality topsoil, benefits landscaping and gardening industries. Its sales of 250,000 tonnes ensure that this productive soil is not wasted. Alongside producing soil itself, British Sugar produces around 300,000 tonnes of liming product, called LimeX, which provides a sustainable option to amend soil pH and increase available calcium. These products benefit the wider farming community as well as tertiary industries. Huge environmental benefits are found in British Sugar’s policy on energy efficiency and fuel production. The organisation recently opened their first bioethanol plant at Wissington. This state-of-the-art facility produces up to 60,000 tonnes of bioethanol a year which helps to meet renewable fuel targets. During this bioethanol fermentation process, 40,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide are captured which also go into making many of the UK’s carbonated beverages. Finally, the electricity generated from British Sugar’s two combined heating and power plants are exported onto the National Grid and can power 120,000 homes each year. Below is a diagram outlining the processes undertaken the Wissington advanced manufacturing plant:

A co-creative approach to

develop new solutions to reduce food losses on the farm Food Heroes project The Netherlands

Reducing food losses is a big challenge! New solutions are needed and a different approach is key to changing the way in which we value food. This starts at the very bottom of the food chain. All too often, many out-of-spec food and by-products are ignored. Many farmers, producers and manufacturers are racking their brains over this. In the Interreg North West Europe project, FOOD HEROES, farmers and growers are cooperating with designers, technologists and scientists to develop at least 15 new solutions that reduce food losses and minimise the use of biomass though upcycling and creating added value, with a focus on the upstream part of the food supply chain. For more information, please go to: projects/project-search/food-heroes-improving-resourceefficiency-through-designing-innovative-solutions-toreduce-food-waste/

Optimising the ocean’s


Fishmeal and fish oil for the future Denmark

Denmark is a leading global producer of fishmeal and fish oil which are both recognised as important marine ingredients for which global demand is increasing. Used in aquaculture, human consumption and animal feeds, the products bring the important omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA into the human food chain via farmed fish and fish oil supplements. Producing fishmeal and fish oil requires energy. Through dedicated efforts, the industry has effectively reduced energy use. At the same time, surplus heat from production is efficiently transferred to local heating systems. In Skagen, at the very northern tip of Denmark, the local fishmeal factory provides approximately 25% of the community’s heating, saving the local community considerable costs and optimising the use of resources.


Focusing on the efficient use

of resources and reuse of materials to minimise waste Lantmännen Sweden

Food waste is a very important challenge that needs to be tackled from farm to fork because it has a significant social, environmental and climate impact. Not all food waste can be avoided: there are inedible parts of food, for example skin, bones and coffee grounds, that must be separated and collected by a waste company for the production of bio-based sewage gas. Avoidable food waste, however, must be decreased. What does Lantmännen do? Lantmännen wants to contribute to reducing food waste by optimising the food value chain in its entirety and shifting from linear use of resources to circular use. An important part of our work to minimise waste is the use of resources in a coordinated and efficient manner throughout the food, feed and energy production process. Raw materials that cannot be used as food for quality reasons are used to produce feed or ethanol. In doing so, all parts of the raw material are used in the best way possible and almost nothing is wasted. Lantmännen seeks to use waste from its own processes as well as other producers’ processes. For example, Lantmännen reuses grain-based waste and residues in its biorefinery. We also make use of carbohydrate-rich food waste such as pasta, bread and soda to produce ethanol, thus creating a circular business. An advantage of bioethanol is that it is renewable and therefore has very low climate emissions. In this way, Lantmännen makes efficient use of the planet’s resources and creates value from food waste. Lantmännen also seeks to inspire the consumer to avoid food waste by providing advice and recipes. We want to make it easier for consumers to cut down their waste, for example, by offering products in smaller packages so that they can be used all at once. Lantmännen is among the companies participating in the Sustainable Food Chain Initiative. Here, food waste is a priority. Lantmännen also takes part in the Swedish Food Waste Reduction Project (SaMMa), a network for authorities, researchers, non-governmental organisations and the sector, with actors in different parts of the food value chain. The Swedish National Food Agency, the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the Swedish Board of Agriculture coordinates the group with the support of the environment and energy sectors.


Picking fruit and vegetables

with your own hands

The ‘Raccolta diretta’ project Italy

The ‘Raccolta diretta’ project is yet another success story. Consumers have access to a series of ‘pick-your-own’ farms where they pick the produce they need with their own hands. This is proving to be particularly useful for children, as they get the chance to enjoy some hands-on farm work. Direct harvesting can be of high educational value, since these children happily eat the vegetables they have picked with their own little hands.

A novel concept to produce

high-quality mushroom fertiliser from biogas residues

Advanced Substrate Technology Denmark

The Danish start-up company ‘Advanced Substrate Technology’ converts biogas production residues into highquality substrate for mushroom cultivation. Once used for mushroom cultivation purposes, the food production substrate can be re-used in a biogas reactor. By creating a value cycle between biogas production, mushroom production and energy and nutrient recovery, it is possible to: ◆◆ Generate high-value growth media that provide the basis for high-value food production ◆◆ Increase the feasibility of mushroom production by using a cheaper and transportable advanced substrate ◆◆ Increase the feasibility of biogas production by reentering the spent mushroom substrate back into biogas production ◆◆ Increase energy efficiency from the existing 50-55% to 80-85% of biomass in biogas production ◆◆ Recover nutrients from biogas production.

STROOOP! Typical Dutch

syrup waffles made from 100% vegetable fibres Van Rijsingen Ingredients The Netherlands

When vegetable juices are produced, a valuable by-product is created for the food industry: vegetable fibres. At Van Rijsingen Ingredients, we are optimising the use of this byproduct. We do not heat fibre streams excessively, which means that the valuable nutrients and colourings that occur naturally in the vegetables are optimally preserved. Van Rijsingen Ingredients sells both fresh and deepfrozen carrot fibre. Both product types are a good source of fibre and can be added to products in relatively high proportions. Moreover, they improve the product’s texture and dietary fibre content. As of yet, they have been tested out in meat substitutes, soups, sauces, bread, pasta, meat and vegetarian and non-vegetarian snack products. Together with food designer Chloe Rutzerveld in 2016, Van Rijsingen Ingredients created vegetable syrup waffles named STROOOP!


Helping consumers to know

more about food and farming Campagna Amica Italy

Campagna Amica (literally ‘friendly countryside’) is a foundation that supports italian agriculture and food in addition to protecting the environment and fostering tourism in rural areas. Its role is to promote and put in place new ways of selling and new consumer practices that make the agri-food chain shorter and that are more sustainable, responsible and advantageous for both producers and consumers. The issue of food waste is not only a matter of a product’s end use (table vs landfill). It also relates to how much of an impact the production process has on the environmental, social and economic balance that should be maintained in the long term, yet is constantly jeopardised.

Mercati di Campagna Amica (‘Campagna Amica markets’): it is at these markets that the foundation carries out most of its awareness-raising campaigns on topics relating to the fight against food waste. The markets bring the countryside to the city, and with it come the values and traditions the countryside has zealously guarded over millennia. One of these is the old country adage that “nothing gets thrown away here”. Farmers from rural areas arrive in cities bringing with them healthier, better and more balanced ways of eating which they pass on to city-dwellers.

Punti Campagna Amica in città e botteghe italiane: (‘Campagna Amica city shops and traditional

Compostiamoci meglio is not the only initiative that has been promoted over the last few years. Many other projects have been launched at national level, including:

high-street businesses’): just like real local shops, these shops tell the story of the products and the producers, keeping the Italian countryside very much alive in city neighbourhoods. Here, you can find food from all over the country, including top-notch produce from the different regions. Hypermarkets are snubbed in favour of the more friendly local shops where direct contact with the shopkeeper is appreciated. This just goes to show how these relationships, which were built on trust and which used to be embedded in the very social fabric of Italian cities in the past, before the era of rampant consumerism, are making a comeback.

Fattorie di Campagna Amica (‘Campagna Amica

Campagna Amica nel piatto (‘Campagna Amica

For a few years now, Campagna Amica has implemented various projects and initiatives to fight food waste. An example of this was the awareness campaign Compostiamoci meglio (‘Let’s make better compost’). Here, a practical guide was provided on how to compost household waste properly, including step-by-step instructions on how to make your own home-built composter.

farms’): city dwellers/consumers are given the opportunity to spend a fun day out on these farms, and can even buy local produce on the spot in addition to meeting the people that make it happen. Short supply chains and zero food miles help farmers to forecast their sales. As a result, farmers are better able to calculate their output, avoiding waste upstream. Consumers buy only the food they need for the week, avoiding waste downstream of the supply chain. This also means less fuel and packaging waste.

on your plate’): this project aims to raise awareness in locations such as restaurants and canteens, both of which fall within a specific sector that is unfortunately largely responsible for food waste. The dishes on the menu served at our partner restaurants display our unmistakable logo, clearly indicating the ‘zero waste’ symbol, and each recipe is concocted using seasonal local produce.

Orti urbani di Campagna Amica (‘Campagna Amica urban gardens’): a wonderful project that seeks to demolish the consumerist misconception that ‘we have to have it all and have it right now’. These urban gardens help a number of city dwellers to learn about concepts such as biodiversity, seasonality and environmental protection. Campagna Amica gardens always have a compost bin to ensure that the carbon cycle is continuously renewed by making the most of food waste. The unconsumed produce is fed back into the earth in order to nourish it.

I gruppi d’offerta di Campagna Amica (‘Campagna Amica collective purchasing organisations’): producers are trained in logistical aspects and come together to supply Italian ethical purchasing groups across the territory. Collective purchasing organisations help reduce spending and waste.


If these are ethically based, then they resonate from a cultural point of view, fostering greater ethical awareness among consumers and why not also among like-minded farmers. Below are just as few of the organisations, institutions, groups and companies that have joined forces with the Campagna Amica foundation in the fight against food waste. Banco alimentare (‘food bank’) Caritas Equoevento Last minute market Myfoody Una buona occasione (‘a good opportunity’) www. Non Sprecare (‘no waste’) CESVI QB

Turning human food by-

products into feed

Cooperative Le GOUESSANT

More recently, the obligation to find outlets for these substandard products (legislation on biowaste) has resulted in a new supply of by-products. Their nutritional and health qualities are preserved, but they are not marketable via the usual outlets for various reasons (broken, packaging fault, start of production, nearing the best-before date, etc.). These substandard products appear at varying frequencies and in different packaging. They are nevertheless of interest as their composition makes them a source of very high-quality nutritional elements that would not be affordable if bought directly. The cooperative Le Gouessant buys these new byproducts from approved “collectors and unpackers” that are regularly audited on their ability to ensure traceability, quality and comply with regulation. Philippe Hello concludes: “If we want to promote the recycling of products that have been downgraded from human food status, the administrative constraints must not make the product more expensive than products that have historically been incorporated into animal feed, nor should they lead to a deterioration in the product’s quality ( for example, by making it obligatory to bake bread again). Indeed, restoring the status of what today is wrongly considered as waste to that of a raw material is the key to the circular economy.


Le Gouessant gives new life to by-products of human food. The animal nutrition sector came into being through the recycling of human food by-products. Historically, bran from milled products has always been given to livestock. The cooperative Le Gouessant incorporates 40% of byproducts into its formulas, a growing share of which are products downgraded from the agri-food industry. “Human food by-products account for a growing share of the volume of raw materials that we use to manufacture livestock feed. If we include meal and other by-products of oilseed production, this share reaches 40%,” explains Philippe Hello, Feed Formulation Manager at the cooperative Le Gouessant. These by-products include: ◆◆ Cereal by-products which represent the largest share (25%): bran, sharps, middlings, gluten from the milling, starch and distillery industries ◆◆ Whey and other dairy by-products from dairies ◆◆ Sugar cane molasses and beet pulp from the sugar industry. ◆◆ All of these standardised products, available continuously on the market, constitute a regular supply for plants producing animal feedingstuffs. But it also includes: ◆◆ Products that can be recycled from the agri-food industry such as biscuits, bread, sandwich bread, rice, etc.


Cooking with leftovers

The ‘cucina degli avanzi’ project Italy

The non-waste culture needs to make a comeback also to our tables. This is why this project was launched, together with the book ‘La cucina degli avanzi attraverso le ricette contadine’ (‘Cooking with leftovers using recipes from the farmhouse’). The book is a collection of world-known recipes from Italian culinary tradition, such as ‘ribollita’, ‘pappa al pomodoro’, ‘acqua cotta’, ‘minestrone’, ‘torta d’erbi’, ‘polpette’ and ‘lesso rifatto’. These dishes, both tasty and healthy, are at the core of the Mediterranean diet, which breathes new life and flavours into humble ingredients and leftovers.

into different grades of quality from best to worst as fast as possible with minimal errors. This integrated approach to production and processing reduces the amount of onfarm food wastage. Any carrots which fall out of supermarket specification can go into the following markets: ◆◆ ‘Wonky’ carrots at some retailers ◆◆ Grated carrot ◆◆ Sliced carrot ◆◆ Batons ◆◆ Ready meals ◆◆ Bagged salad ◆◆ Coleslaw Guy Poskitt, Managing Director at MH Poskitt said, “by bringing the preparation side of the business in-house four years ago, we were able to cut costs and help the environment at the same time. The business now dices, slices and grates some of the carrots for the pre-packaged market which means they can also use more of the crop and reduce wastage”. A video of the MH Poskitt food waste story can be found at the below website: Alternative uses for fruit and vegetable crops include: ◆◆ Selling at a lower grade for processed food ◆◆ Selling at markets, farm shops etc. where appearance standards are more relaxed ◆◆ Selling crops for animal feed

A family-owned farming

business adopting an integrated approach to boost circularity MH Poskit UK

MH Poskitt is a family-owned farming business based in the East Riding of Yorkshire specialising in the growing of root vegetables for leading supermarkets. The business produces over 50,000 tonnes of carrots every year from the UK. The main areas of production are in Norfolk, Suffolk, Nottinghamshire, Yorkshire, Lancashire and Scotland. This geographical spread and integration with joint venture growers enables the farm to produce supply for the packhouse all year round.

Food Waste Prevention The operation grows, washes, packs and distributes all their carrots from one site enabling them to control all aspects of production. The company has invested £2.3 million into a camera grader which automatically sorts the carrots into six different grades. This allows the carrots to be sorted


◆◆ Ploughing back into the soil to provide nutrients and organic matter, and ◆◆ Some growers are investing in treatment technologies such as composting and anaerobic digestion which produces a soil amendment/fertiliser and (in the case of AD) bioenergy.

Planned activities are: • Analysis of market distribution barriers to “imperfect” fruit and vegetable products

Creating opportunities for

lower quality products “Ugly but tasty” Hungary

The Hungarian Pilot Working Platform (PWP) initiated the pilot project “Ugly but tasty” in February 2017. The pilot’s main goal is to start working towards a “farm to fork” approach to food waste related activities in the fruit and vegetable sector. As processing is not part of it, this chain is one of the shortest chains, meaning that it is relatively easier to focus on the full chain from production to consumer. The project mainly focusses on lower quality products. The plan is to test possible outlets for these products on both a marketed (sale) and a non-marketed (free redistribution) basis. The Hungarian Food Bank Association started talks in the framework of the Hungarian PWP with the Budapest Wholesale Market in order to launch a project that primarily targets the activities and partners within the fruit and vegetable sector. The Budapest Wholesale Market (BWM) is the largest market in the country that sees product supply of growers and wholesalers meeting the demand of the retailers six days a week. Fresh vegetables and fruits, citrus fruits, mushrooms, eggs, honey, canned products, preserved food, sweets and refreshments can be purchased throughout the year.

• Implementation of a food surplus redistribution site at the BWM • Testing of gleaning activities • Communication activities and organisation of events to raise awareness at the BWM

From vineyards to energy

self-sufficiency Caviro Group Italy

From vineyards to self-sufficiency in energy: the Caviro Group is committed to the environment. The Caviro Group’s vineyards are not solely used to make wine from grapes. The by-products from the winemaking process (the must, the lees and the marc) are used to make sugars, grape juices, alcohol, calcium tartrate, tartaric acid and compost for agricultural purposes – in short, ENERGY. Every year Caviro processes over 540,000 tonnes of by-products – twice the weight of the 275,000 tonneEmpire State Building in New York. The purification and combustion of the waste from the food production line allows the Caviro facilities to be completely energy selfsufficient.

The market is also open to consumers. However, sales are only done in commercial quantity units.


The co-products food

industry: a tasty mix in pig feed BoerRuud

The Netherlands An industrially-farmed pig is the most important animal in the world in terms of the circular economy. They are fed with valuable proteins that are left over from the food industry. Over 50% of Dutch pig feed is made up of coproducts from the food industry. Co-products like brewer’s yeast, mashed potatoes, bread crumbs and lactic acid are popular ingredients to include in a pig’s daily diet. Pigs provide the missing link and close the gap in the raw materials cycle. BoerRuud is a pig farmer in Oirlo (NL). To stop healthy proteins and raw materials from being thrown away, he feeds his pigs with numerous co-products, for example, potato chips and co-products form the dairy sector. Hygienically storing these kind of co-products at farm level in the long-term represents the most exciting challenge. Fungi also love proteins, but are not healthy in a pig’s diet. This is why farmers, advisors and technicians still have to experiment with novel storage techniques in order to better conserve co-products at a pig farm.

Maximising feed and food

production by genomic plant breeding DAFC

Denmark Improving yield, quality and nutrient utilisation by genomic selection. Improving crops by plant breeding is the most efficient and sustainable way to increase productivity in global agriculture. Any improvement at this level will be magnified in the feed, food, and bioenergy chain. Through genomic selection, plant breeding gains are exceeding limits and being taken to a new level. Genomic selection has several advantages over traditional breeding. It improves the ability to select multiple traits simultaneously by providing an index for each important trait. Properly implemented, genomic selection can also cut down development time by minimising needs for time-consuming field trials. Lastly, but perhaps most significantly, genomic selection can identify genetic components which will ensure maximum yield and quality as well as the efficient use of nutrients, or whichever traits may be deemed important in future plant production.

Enjoying the taste of fresh



The Netherlands Good Crop, Plukgoed in Dutch, is an apple concept which aims to allow you to taste the flavour of apples in all their glory. This new concept encourages apple farmers to harvest apples at the right time. This means that they leave the apples in the tree longer than usual and taste them daily to decide on the right time to harvest. The taste of an apple does not depend on its size, but on the moment that it is harvested, stored and transported. Good Crop apples


stand out from the crowd. Whether bright red, yellow or large, every apple is unique and delicious. At first glance in the supermarket all apples of the same kind look similar. If you examine the apples on offer, you will find very few differences. Minimal variation in colour and size. The occasional tiny blemish. What’s that all about? How is it possible that the apple tree is full of apples that vary a lot more? What happens to apples that are not destined for the supermarket? What are the characteristics of these apples? The apples we buy at the supermarket are sorted according to size and how hard they are. A crisp apple with a nice red blush that fits perfectly in your hand. What is more important: what the apple looks like or its flavour? Good Crop is wary of wastage, appreciates diversity in all shapes, colours and varieties and offers a fantastic apple packed full of FLAVOUR! An apple is a seasonal product, but it is harvested for storage. After all, we eat apples throughout the year. The harvest has three cycles. The first harvest starts as soon as the apple contains enough sugar. These apples can be stored for a long time. The second harvest provides a little more flavour, but these apples cannot be stored for as long as the first harvest apples. The apples that are still on the tree after the second harvest are ripe for the third harvest. What is so special about the third harvest? Third harvest apples are the absolute best in terms of flavour. However, storing these apples is difficult which makes the third harvest unappealing for supermarkets. This is why many apple farmers do not even consider harvesting these apples. This means that a high proportion of these apples are never used for consumption purposes, but are left to deteriorate into compost. This concept allows consumers and kitchen chefs not only to buy and taste fresh apples, but also to be part of the ‘harvesting team’ in the orchards. It is not about another variety of apple (like Elstar or Jonagold) but rather an inclusive concept of growers and consumers enjoying the flavour of fresh APPLES!

Sustainable water use in the

slaughter industry DAFC

Denmark Saving water, CO2 and energy without compromising food safety and production. The growing global population and economic activity have put increased pressure on the world’s water resources and water scarcity is now one of the greatest global challenges. The slaughter industry has a well-established tradition of water efficiency making it possible to increase food production while at the same time reducing the use of water.


Cooperation between

primary producers and young innovative entrepreneurs to reduce food losses and create value Unverschwendet Austria

Unverschwendet (“unwasted”) is a start-up founded by young entrepreneurs in Austria that collects surplus fruit and vegetables and makes them into jams and pickles. The business is an excellent example of cooperation between primary producers and innovative entrepreneurs to reduce food losses and create value. Unverschwendet provides a culinary and creative solution for using surplus crops. In its current form, the start-up preserves regional excess fruit and vegetables through the traditional methods of pickling and cooking, thus preventing them from being thrown away. In the long term, the idea is to offer various solutions for using all kinds of surpluses, including in-house production, outsourced activities, the establishment of regional branches and the transfer of resources and licenses. As one of the very first companies of its kind, Unverschwendet taps into the huge potential of unused resources in the food sector, encouraging people to fight food waste and engage in a sustainable lifestyle through delicious culinary solutions.


In order to achieve the goal of generating added value from surplus fruit and vegetables while offering customers tasty food as part of a sustainable lifestyle, a holistic approach, which considers all stakeholders in the value chain, is necessary. The starting point for this is establishing a good network of farmers, political stakeholders (in the field of agriculture, for example), logistic partners, consumers, stakeholders in cities, ecological and social NGOs, and research centres for more in-depth knowledge. Through a high degree of flexibility, creative combinations and a strong, young brand, Unverschwendet aims to find the most efficient, economical and effective solution to create value from as much surplus food as possible. In fact, the start-up is already looking into expanding its surplus uses as well as its product range, for example by cooperating with other speciality food producers or developing products for restaurants (B2B). Once the best way forward is found, the founders want to expand their project across Europe in order to prevent even more food from being wasted and to establish food waste prevention as a new aspect of sustainable consumption. They therefore plan to adapt their model and are open to making the necessary changes.

Circular economy-friendly

and climate neutral eggs and meat from male chicks Kipster

The Netherlands Kipster is a climate neutral poultry farm with a sharp focus on the circular economy that produces eggs and meat from male chicks (the brothers of the laying hens) in a climate neutral and circular way. The chickens are partly fed with food waste such as waste from bakery products and by-products of oats. The laying hens are reared according to the three-star criteria of the Dutch Animal Welfare Association which is the highest animal welfare category. The brothers of the laying hens (the male chicks) are not wasted but are used for meat and slaughtered at the age of 15 weeks. The meat is then processed into chickenmeat burgers. Both eggs and meat burgers are sold at Lidl supermarkets in the Netherlands. Kipster obtained an exclusive five-year contract for this. The eggs are sold at the price of organic eggs which makes a good business case! Per annum, we rear 24,000 laying hens and the same number of male chicks. The initiative was launched in October 2017 (first sale of eggs) and in February 2018 (first sale of meat burgers) and sales are doing very well. Challenges: The male chicks are reared in a conventional way. A system is being developed so that the male chicks can also be reared in the same conditions (i.e. animal welfare, circular feeds) as the laying hens. With support of the ‘Food Heroes’ project, a system will be designed using knowledge and research gathered from Wageningen University and in cooperation with the Dutch Animal Welfare Association. Rolling out the initiative is a challenge. If sales continue to grow then this should justify the initiative and allow for this first chicken house to be scaled up to house a greater number of chickens and male chicks.


Consumers prefer products that minimise waste

Reducing food waste with

nature’s own solutions: How bio-protection can reduce dairy waste Chr. Hansen Denmark

“Bio-protection is nature’s own way of keeping its products safe and fresh for longer. Potentially reducing yogurt waste by up to 30% could help to cut down global food waste”. - Annemarie Meisling, Sustainability Director, Chr. Hansen.

A global issue Reducing food waste has been identified by the UN as a global Sustainable Development Goal. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), up to one-third of all food is wasted and 17%, or 1.5 million tonnes, of all yoghurt goes to waste every year in the EU alone.

Innovating to make a world of difference With the recent launch of a new generation of bio-protective cultures, global bioscience company, Chr. Hansen, is empowering food manufacturers and consumers to tackle food waste. Bio-protection uses nature’s own good bacteria to delay spoilage from contaminants, such as yeast and mould in dairy products, and to enable products to stay fresh for longer. If the cultures were applied to all yogurts in Europe, yogurt waste could be cut down by as much as 30%, which is equal to a reduction in EU CO2 emissions of 520,000 tonnes.

Consumer awareness of food waste is on the rise – no one likes to throw away unopened products. An independent consumer test, conducted in Germany in 2018, showed that consumers prefer to buy yogurts that can stay fresh for longer in a natural way as this allows consumers more time to finish the product and thereby cut down the amount of yoghurt that they waste.

Benefiting the entire value chain Chr. Hansen’s goal is to help dairy producers around the world to offer natural, clean and tasty products that can stay fresh for a little longer, thereby providing a straightforward solution to reducing food waste and CO2.

Growing herbs and

vegetables in controlled systems to reduce losses Kruidenaer

The Netherlands Kruidenaer is a company that produces various kinds of herbs, notably basil and peppermint, but recently also lettuce. Its total cultivation area is 3.4 ha. By growing these herbs and lettuce in controlled conditions, losses are reduced to almost zero and there is no contamination caused by sand or pesticides. The whole plant can therefore be harvested. Germination occurs in a controlled system consisting of five layers (total area: 425 m2), LED lights and controlled irrigation. After two weeks, the plantlets are transplanted into waterbeds where they then grow for another four weeks. Harvesting therefore takes place six weeks after the seed is first planted. Waterbeds make it possible to use the entire surface area of the greenhouse. High investment costs are offset by the short production cycle, high yields and reduced losses - compared to conventional cultivation in soil - as well as the status that the company enjoys as a Albert Heijn’s (Dutch supermarket chain) preferred supplier.


Making the best out of

coffee grounds to grow oyster mushrooms Verbruggen Paddenstoelen The Netherlands

Coffee grounds are a major waste product resulting from coffee drinking. In several countries, there are some ongoing initiatives collecting coffee grounds in order to grow oyster mushrooms. Combined with some other ingredients, coffee grounds are a good substrate for oyster mushroom growing. While these initiatives are mostly small-scale, in the Netherlands we have a professional oyster mushroom grower, who is also an expert in making substrates. He makes substrates using several waste products such as coffee grounds and cut grass/shrubs from ecological borders, the sides of ditches, and banks of streams and canals. To do this he cooperates with GRO, a company that organises the collection of coffee grounds from several big food chains (such as ‘La Place’ restaurants and catering). These coffee grounds are then prepared for substrate by Verbruggen Paddestoelen which then grows the special oyster mushrooms. These are then are sold to GRO which makes various different products, such as ‘blended burgers’ (mixed with meat), snacks etc. These are sold to various caterers and restaurants. The oyster mushrooms grown on coffee grounds fetch a better price then the ‘normal’ oyster mushrooms.

Circular Economy at the

heart of PINDOS PINDOS Greece

The PINDOS loannina Agricultural Poultry Farming Cooperative (APSI PINDOS) was founded in 1958 in Ioannina, Greece, and currently has 500 members and cooperating producers. The PINDOS Cooperative is made up of cooperating partners that own poultry houses for breeder and broiler chickens. The cooperative produces a total of between 250,000 and 300,000 breeders and more than 36,000,000 broilers, which generate over 270,000 tonnes of chicken manure. PINDOS invests actively in the area of environmental protection. In addition to operating a modern biological treatment unit, it has constructed a combustion plant that uses inactive bird waste to produce energy – one of a kind in Greek poultry farming. It also has a poultry carcass incinerator. In addition, PINDOS owns a plant that converts waste from poultry farms into the organic fertiliser Agrosyn. The company plans to create two more units in the short term. The impact of poultry production on the environment is reduced through use of best available techniques on breeding farms. The fact that the two main waste products (chicken manure and the carcasses of dead birds) are transported by special vehicles to the cooperative’s biological treatment plant – located at a good distance from the poultry farms – greatly reduces the negative impact of poultry farms on the environment. The cooperative removes all waste from its members’ poultry holdings, in particular the following: ◆◆ The dead bird carcasses are collected from the poultry farms by specialised cooperative staff and taken to the cooperative’s premises for incineration. The heat produced is used for the heating needs of the slaughterhouse and all the factory units. ◆◆ The chicken manure from the poultry farms is collected by specialised cooperative units and transferred to the APSI PINDOS Cooperative’s organic fertiliser factory. By means of anaerobic digestion, the waste is transformed into organic fertiliser and biofertiliser, which is then sold to farmers for use on crops for animal feed (corn, cereals, etc.). Implementing the above-described cyclical economic model for the use of waste from poultry farms is one of the cooperative’s priorities. This model is applied to all members’ holdings in order to reduce their environmental footprint and produce raw materials using 100% environmentally friendly methods. Finally, in the context of integrated environmental


management – something which is always at the heart of PINDOS’s activities – the cooperative was awarded the Greek Waste & Recycling Award 2017 in the “Food Waste” and “Resource Recovery - Waste to Energy” categories. It also received high praise in the categories “Sustainable Business” and “Circular Economy & Symbiosis Network”.

In order to prevent the waste of this highly nutritious product, Carbery developed a process to convert the lactose (a type of sugar) in the whey into ethanol. The process of ultrafiltration, fermentation and distillation produces a 96% ABV ethanol, which is used as an ingredient in drinks like Irish creams liquor and gin, and is also sold to the oil company Maxol for use in their bioethanol blends. And it doesn’t stop there! After the lactose has been removed, phosphorus is also extracted from the whey. Phosphorus is a highly sought-after, non-renewable resource, mined in just a few countries worldwide. The recovered phosphorus is recycled back into the agricultural land of the Carbery milk suppliers, used to fertilise the grass on which the cows feed. Following this, the remaining waste water flows into an anaerobic digestor and produces a biogas, which powers the on-site Combined Heat and Power facility, reducing the site’s energy and water requirements, saving money and reducing impact on the local Bandon river. This innovation has therefore not only been driven by company’s focus on sustainability and desire to reduce food waste, but also by the economic advantages it provides and the benefits they can pass on to their suppliers. The ability of Carbery to extract value from every drop of milk, has enabled the four West Cork co-operatives to deliver a premium milk price to their farmers for decades. Polish producers commited to prevent and reduce food losses and food waste

West Cork Cooperatives

Turning Whey into Ethanol Carbery Group Ireland

Carbery Group is a milk processing business, owned and operated by four dairy co-operatives - Lisavaird, Bandon, Barryroe and Drinagh- in West Cork, Ireland and by their 1,200 milk suppliers. Fifty years ago these cooperatives decided to work together, pooling their processing resources and have since grown to become a market leader in the manufacture of cheese, food ingredients and flavours. Sustainability is at the heart of the Carbery project, and creative thinking has enabled the West Cork cooperatives to not only reduce food waste, but also save energy and water, reduce costs and create new revenue streams. It starts with whey, which is a by-product of the cheese manufacturing process and traditionally regarded as a waste stream that needed to be managed, often fed to pigs or dumped. However, in recent years whey has been reinvented as a high-value food supplement, used in infant formula and performance drinks for athletes. Nevertheless, there is still a surplus of whey which exceeds this market demand.


Polish producers committed

to prevent and reduce food losses and food waste PFPZ

Poland Food producers in Poland are committed to prevent and reduce food waste by donating foodstuffs fully suitable for consumption, although with a shorter use-by date (what would render them unsuitable for retail sale), to various organisations, i.e. Caritas, Banki Żywności (Food Banks), foundations, the Polish Red Cross, etc. An example may serve Cereal Partners Poland Toruń Pacific who in the period of 2014-2016 donated approximately 60 tonnes of such food items. On the other hand, with respect to reducing food waste in the beverages sector, in 2015 PFPZ, under the auspices of the Chief Sanitary Inspectorate in Poland, created guidelines and launched an educational campaign called ABC Dobrego Magazynowania (Good Storage Practices) aimed at wholesale and retail operators.

Growing your own fruit and

vegetable to learn more about agriculture The ‘Orti in affitto’ project (‘Allotments’) Italy

The idea behind this is that Cia-Agricoltori Italiani farmers lease a small vegetable patch for people to grow their own fruit and vegetables themselves, and see first-hand what plant cycles are like. This gives them the opportunity to better understand the hard work entailed in producing fruit and vegetables; realise the importance of all the steps leading up to the harvest; develop a taste for fresh, high-quality produce; and reduce household waste. The farmers provide direct assistance and continuous support, as well as seeds or plants, working tools and any relevant technical resources that may be needed.

For more information about the initiatives, check


Copa and Cogeca are the united voice of farmers and






they ensure that EU agriculture is sustainable, innovative and competitive, guaranteeing food security to half a billion people throughout Europe. Copa represents over 23 million farmers and their families whilst Cogeca represents the interests of 22,000 agricultural cooperatives. They have 66 member organisations from the EU member states. Together, they are one of the biggest and most active lobbying organisations in Brussels.

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