Food surplus and Labour, the Valorisation of Underused Resources
Priority AxisTechnological and Social Innovation
Lead partnerHerwin vzw
Project budget4 330 113 €
ERDF amount2 598 068 €
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.
- create job opportunities/skills for employment for people far from the labour market in handling food surplus for human consumption
- create systems covering a larger region for effective food surplus collection and redistribution to people in food insecurity
- process new marketable food products made out of food surplus
and promote the development of these models through supporting policy making.
- Testing out cooperation, coordination and alignment between food surplus centres and with stakeholders in the food chain for maximum collection, storage, redistribution and processing of food surplus. This will produce benefits for: producers, industry and retailers in the food chain as they have less food loss. A training programme for people in the food surplus indrustry will developed and spread through a train the trainer approach.
- Develop socio-economic business models based on the testing and pilots, supplemented with experiences of other relevant initiatives to promote a food surplus industry and create jobs for people far from the labour market. Opportunities and barriers in policy making regarding food surplus use and social employment will be examined on national and European level to be able to formulate recommendations to promote this new sector.
Cross border approach
The whole region struggles with the same issues: large amounts of food surplus and a large proportion of the unemployed are long-term unemployed. There are small scale projects in each area dealing with surplus for human consumption and working with/for social-economically vulnerable people.
We want to find out if it is possible to create a new sector, by working together to test out models of using food not fit to be sold on the regular market, to be processed for a second shelf life. To do so, scale to convince the food sector as well as enough critical mass to have influence on the European policy making is needed. We want to find out what policy frame work and legislation should be adopted on European and national level to promote efficient and effective food surplus services that create (pathways to) employment. The 2 Seas area, where distances are not too big, makes it possible to work closely together on this purpose.
In the 2Seas area 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. Covid19 caused unprecedented challenges with an impact on everyone, also on the pilots within Flavour.
Five food distribution pilots are collecting food surplus at farms, supermarkets, auctions and food companies. They collected and distributed approximately 2300 tonnes of food surplus, more than 40% of which is fruit and vegetables, reaching over 50 000 people in food insecurity. Panier de la Mer started focusing on brokering food surplus between food companies and social organisations gaining a lot of credibility in Northern France, growing the collaboration pilot. Over 100 tonnes was distributed this way to 25 social organisations in the region.
In November Feedback gleaned over a ton of pumpkins, the kick off of their processing pilot. Look forward to delicous Pumpkin soup. Its inspired by the Panier de la Mer fish soup which Phil could taste at the meeting in France. Not only pumpkins are surplus in Sussex, Fareshare Sussex also collects huge amount of fruits and veggies. With BHFP they'll create a healthy snack , fruit leather.
This activity makes it possible for pilots to create new job opportunities suitable for people far from the labour market, at least 11 over the course of year. Training is key to develop and maintain skills needed to work in the food sector. Marjon University, Vives and Herwin join forces to create a training guid and toolbox for mentors in the field. The training will be co-created with mentors working in the sector positively impacting a lot of people far from the labour market. These pilots are great but to be durable in the long run a suitable socio-economic business model needs to be created, taking into acount social return on investment. A business model works best in a policy environment favorable to prevent food waste and to create jobs for vulnerable people. A policy task force is set out to start creating that positive climate. The preparatory work already started, presentations were given by PPs in different webinars to an audience of policy makers and stakeholders in the food surplus sector.