2. What do you think is the best way to make improvements in this area?
Food products made from surplus produce. Mobile apps which help you buy cheap surplus food from restaurant’s buffets. More and more supermarket offers on cheap food nearing its expiry date. And heavy marketing campaigns within the retailers and the industry to show off their work on stop wasting food. The fight against food waste is not only reserved for the hippie activists - the fight against food waste is becoming big business. And this is only the beginning.
Image, if we can save the world by saving out time and saving money. While saving the carbon footprint while helping the food value chain to optimize itself.
Too good to be true? Well, the fight against food waste nails it.
In many media, Denmark's has been crowned at the European leading country to reduce food waste. Within 5 years, Denmark's national food waste has been reduced by 25%. That's quite something. Many Danish supermarkets are started to sell good food, which is close to its expiry date, at reduced prices. That means that supermarkets waste less food, earn money on the food, which otherwise could have been wasted and customers can buy food at reduced price and avoid food waste. Many Danish supermarkets brand themselves on these initiatives, labeling them the "Save Food" of the "Stop Food Waste" bargains. This trend has become quite popular, and perhaps the international supermarkets should take a closer look at the Danish retail industry.
We are in a hurry. In just 13 years, the human population's global food losses and food waste must be reduced by 50%. This deadline is made by the new UN Sustainable Development Goal 12.3.
Recently, I was invited to participate in the new EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste, a 4 year long project which will focus on helping to deliver that goal. On the Platform's first meeting in Brussels, I addressed that it's important to take a look at the entire value chain - and focus on the prevention.
It's good and important to donate surplus food to the charities, but it will never address the root cause. We need to take a look at the overproduction of food.
According to the UN FAO, one third of the world's produced food is either lost or wasted. Imagine, theoretically, a kind of new green growth, if we put that food into business.
Today, a lot of produce never leaves the farms, because the customers have no interest in buying an ugly tomato or an odd looking cauliflower in the supermarket.
But if the farmer would have a chance to sell this produce to a food company, which produces "rescued vegetable soups" and dosen't really care about the aesthetics of vegetables, it will not only prevent the loss of food, but also give the farmer a new source of income.
The "rescued food" companies are starting to populate the market. Although it's not mainstream yet, companies and startups like Snact, Misfit Juice, FoPo Food Powder, Rubies in the Rubble, Wonky, Kromkommer, Barstensvol, OverLekker and Spare Fruit are gaining popularity.
The "rescued food" products will also make it easy for the consumer to help stopping the food losses and waste. The only thing the consumer should do is to buy the product and eat it, every bit. And with the raising awareness on food waste, many food companies can even create a new branding out of it.
The stop wasting food trend is growing all over the world, lately with food waste supermarkets and food waste restaurants. The consumers are soon made ready to buy the "rescued food" products – and it will create a new growing mainstream market.
If we take a look at the foodservice and catering industry, a lot of "wonky" produce can be put into good use. When you eat your salad, it dosen't really matter if the vegetables were perfect or odd looking – it's all chopped in a salad bowl. A local hospital can make a deal with a local farmer to buy the farmer's "wonky" produce, probably at the reduced price. The farmer can earn money on the produce, he previously tossed away, the hospital can make delicious meals to its patients and can brand itself by being a green hospital, which supports stop wasting food.