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 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.