Food surplus and Labour, the Valorisation of Underused Resources | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën


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Food surplus and Labour, the Valorisation of Underused Resources

Priority Axis

Technological and Social Innovation

Specific objective

Social Innovation

Lead partner



Start Date


End Date


Project budget

4 330 113

ERDF amount

2 598 068

ERDF rate



    Common challenge

    The entire programme area is struggling to prevent food waste and across the area the number of people experiencing food insecurity is increasing. This project will tackle this challenge through the valorisation of food surplus whilst simultaneously creating jobs, pathways to employment and supporting people living in food insecurity. It will find new models to make the interception and redistribution of surplus viable. The food industry did not find an answer to their huge amounts of food surplus, by no means to keep it for human consumption, principally because of the labour-intensive super flexible approach needed to do so. In this project, we will work to develop socio-economic business models with environmental benefits to do so.

    Main Achievements

    In the 2 Seas area - as elsewhere in the world- tons of food are wasted on a daily basis and the number of people experiencing food insecurity is increasing. Moreover, still a lot of people far from the labour market struggle to find meaningful jobs. Flavour turns this challenge into an opportunity by giving new life to food surplus, either by redistributing it to people in vulnerable situations or by processing it into new foods with longer shelf life.

    The Distribution Platforms of Milieu&Werk, ODC and Fareshare Sussex are already up and running. Food Distribution Centers (FDCs) are logistical units that collect and redistribute food surplus to people living in food insecurity. Mechelen and Brugge will launch their FDCs early and mid 2020, building on the lessons learned from other partners.

    Since there is so much food surplus, FLAVOUR also works on new solutions - beyond redistribution- to valorise food surplus in the best way, i.e. for "human consumption”. Therefore 5 partners are developing new products with a longer shelf life. These partners have identified what kind of products are often "wasted" in their region and what new products can be made of it. In 2020 a final choice (based on market demand; feasibility of production, etc...) will be made.

    In the UK, the FLAVOUR partners made Pumpkin Gnocchi at a community outreach event in Brighton in Nov 2019. This was a testcase in processing, in response to the huge pumpkin and squash surpluses after Halloween. During the lunch local people learned about the plans for processing and how they can be involved. Pumpkin Gnocchi may become a product made at scale by one of Flavour's processing pilots.

    In France, preservation and preparation was done to make fish soup. Collecting, processing and redistributing food is quite labour intensive and asks for flexibility - an ideal setting to train people to acquire new skills. Flavour's training and coaching trajectory focusses on people far from the labour market (i.e. 6 months or more unemployed).

    Food has an enormous power: it unites people, it is fun to work with and a way to connect with people. When valorising surplus food, one adds the dimension of meaningfulness to the job. We compiled a report on best practices in the sector and several partners visited the Sofea Distribution Center and Cafe from Crisis in Oxford and learned about their training approach. We are now incorporating the insights into our training program, due to be field tested next year.



    Panier de la Mer

    Milieu & Werk vzw

    Stad Brugge

    Stad Mechelen

    VIVES Hogeschool

    Brighton & Hove Food Partnership

    Marjon Business School Plymouth University

    FEEDBACK Global

    FareShare Sussex


    URL / Download

    Pilots on how local networking around food surplus centres, incl. country side, cities and harbours can foster the creation of a food surplus sector

    Theme: Food waste - Social economy or entrepreneurship
    Type: Network
    Target: Local, regional and national authorities - Social enterprises and non-for-profit organisations - SMEs /enterprises

    Pilot on how alignment and logistical cooperation between FDC over a wider region can increase the amount collected and reduce the logistical costs

    Theme: Food waste - Social economy or entrepreneurship
    Type: Network
    Target: Social enterprises and non-for-profit organisations - Citizens - SMEs /enterprises