In Flanders, on average 907.000 tons of perfectly edible food is lost annually. Preventing Food waste could be the climate march of the food industry. A study of Drawdown showed that reducing food waste is the third best solution to combat climate change.
Luckily, Belgium is already undertaking action to combat food waste! On April 2nd, the organizations that take the most remarkable actions against Food waste were rewarded by FoodWIN on the Food Waste Awards 2019.
With FoodWIN, we mainly support local municipalities and catering services, but with the Awards we want to give a positive signal to the whole sector. We were very happy to see that motivated organizations keep on coming with creative solutions and show that reducing food waste is indeed possible.
This was the third edition of the Food Waste Awards, and by far the most successful:
- 6987 votes for the finalists
- Big press attention (Radio 1, Radio 2, De Standaard, De Morgen, Knack, Het Laatste Nieuws and the list goes on!)
- huge amounts of food waste prevented or saved
- 4 incredible winners:
We already have had a nice impact, but there is still lots of work needed to be done. So, I hope with the project we can make an even bigger change here,” says Jonas Malisse. “Next year, we go for 1 million saved meals.
In the category catering the “Facilitair Bedrijf” was crowned to be the winner. In their ten restaurants, they performed a zero measurement and set up an action plan, together with FoodWIN. They have the ambition to decrease food waste with 30 % by 2025. During the award ceremony, the Facilitair Bedrijf was also chosen to be The Ultimate Food Waste Hero by the audience.
Lander Van den Heede explains: “Actually, we just did our customers a favor. In 2012, we went from 87 00 litres lost coffee to 0 with coffee automation. We give away our not sold products to the coffee bar. And because our customers we let choose our customers ourselves what they eat and let them clear their own we reach a reduction in food waste of 57%”. Lander laughs: “Now we also gained the title of Ultimate Food Hero we will treat the entire building to shrimp balls!”.
In South-West-Flanders many things are moving as well. Under Food Act, 14 local OCMWs and the CAW want to reduce food waste with 200 tons annually by redistributing food leftovers to people in poverty via social organizations. They mainly collect fresh leftovers from supermarkets and farmers, which supplement the mostly dry food products that are distributed by the food bank.
This initiative is supported by all 14 municipalities, that is the power of our initiative, said Arnout Vercuysse of the city of Kortrijk proud.
Finally, Bio Bakery De Trog wins the price for food companies. They are the king of recycled bread, meaning that they recycle their leftovers to new products as much as possible. After beer based on bread leftovers, this year, they launched croustinis made of surplus baguettes.
We are already very thankful that we can stand here. We are working on these projects already for a long time and were nominated before. That makes the win of this year even more fun! Perhaps till next year with a new project! Anna Rodrigues smiled.
Another primeur accompanied the festivities: the launch of the Food Waste Alliance. This is a brand new collective of Belgian organizations that which are committed to reducing food waste. “We brought together our expertise to make it easier for motivated organizations to undertake action. In the first phase, we mainly focus on cities and municipalities to implement a local food waste strategy, but also very different actions, like catering based on food surplus, are possible”. says Hanne Heymans of FoodWIN.
To be continued…