Senior specialist Sustainability and novel packaging, Nestlé Hélène obtained her diploma in Instrumentation and Applied Science in Lille school of Engineering, in France. She started her career in 2000 as a project manager at Plastic Technologies Inc. in the US, followed by PTI Europe in Switzerland specializing in PET containers development and new material testing.
In 2004, Hélène moved to Spain to work as technical sales manager for Iberia and South Eastern Europe for ColorMatrix Europe. In 2007 Hélène joined Nestlé and now works in the Nestlé Research Center as a Sustainability and Novel Packaging senior specialist. She is in charge of promoting the use of the newly developed eco-design tool EcodEX. Hélène is also supporting internal food waste reduction initiatives by providing the right tools and knowledge to the organisation.
1. Which aspect of the food waste problem is the most relevant for you?
Both Post-harvest losses and food waste happening at the consumer level are of high interest for Nestlé and me in particular. We know from published data that this is where people should concentrate to have the biggest impact.
2. What do you think is the best way to make improvements in this area?
Overcoming this issue is a major challenge as the reasons for food wastage are so diverse. One should first identify and quantify the issue and then gather a multi-disciplinary team in order to tackle it with very concrete measures.
3. Can you already discover a positive development in this area?
Nestlé worked a lot in lowering losses in the fresh milk supply chain in remote areas such as in Pakistan. Thousands of quality and storage points were built at a local and regional level. At a consumer level, Nestlé is trying to raise awareness through the social media and provide tools such as recipe planner to support consumer in planning their meals better.
4. What institutional measures would you like to see in the future?
Clear reporting and analytical framework, including measurement of hot spots and good practices for reporting on food loss. Definitions / joint understanding / valuation of what usage of materials is considered as food loss/waste (i.e. regarding energy recovery vs. feed vs. composting etc.). Pre-competitive platforms for sharing good practices. Platforms for discussing one key challenge: Trade off between quality criteria / defects in raw materials.
5. Which role does the Initiative SAVE FOOD play in fighting food losses and food waste in your opinion?
Save Food is a catalyst for actions. It puts the actors together to thrive for change.