A third of all produced food never reaches our mouths. Luckily there are an increasing number of initiatives that are taking up the fight against food waste. Many of these fighters operate from the innovation centre THREE-SIXTY in Veghel, where entrepreneurs, educational institutes, researchers and government bodies work side by side to beat food waste.
Recently, the Dutch Minister for Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, Carola Schouten, and EU Commissioner Andriukaitis for Health and Food Safety were introduced to these fighters. The visit made a big impression on the EU Commissioner. Minister Schouten also concluded her visit with a commitment: “This subject is high on the agenda. I am looking to eliminate barriers and provide space for good ideas.” She also called on the EU Commission to remove the expiration dates from rice, pasta, coffee and other products with a long shelf life. Research has shown that the wastage of products with a long shelf life decreases significantly when those products no longer feature an expiration date.
The EU Commissioner and the Minister were invited by the Task Force Circular Economy Food, which is an initiative by Wageningen University & Research, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Alliantie Verduurzaming Voedsel (Alliance for Sustainable Food), and one of the parties that committed themselves to THREE-SIXTY. Members of the Taskforce presented a number of innovative and pioneering initiatives to reduce food waste and stimulate the use of waste flows.
In March 2018, a large number of campaigns, both national and regional, will kick off to draw the attention of schools, pupils and students to food waste. On the 4th and 18th of March, THREE-SIXTY and De Verspillingsfabriek (The Waste Factory) are opening their doors to allow the general public to discover this unique concept and the innovative ideas.