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Value4waste -Meet our circular economy champions!

Creating nutritional and social value from food waste

Borut Vovsek
Foodbank Mastricht

Author’s Acknowledgment:
Please note that all pictures have been taken from those
free available in the internet. The present document has
been used only to make this seminar presentation as a
volunteer speaker.
Value4waste - Meet our circular economy champions!

Creating nutritional and social value

from food waste
Borut Vovsek
Foodbank Mastricht

United Nations University-MERIT

Maastricht, 17 January 2019
1. The problem (‘our motivation’)

Let’s think for a second about our daily food ...

So what’s the problem?
Scale of the food waste problem is even bigger

Land area used to produce food that is not eaten
is approximately equivalent to the size of China!
Source: No More Food to Waste (Conference
Chair's Summary Report), The Hague, June 2015
Situation with food waste in NL

• 2013: Consumers in the Netherlands throw away

approximately 14% of the food they have bought => A total of
0.8 billion kilos of sellable food per year is being wasted! =
estimated value 2.5 billion EUR
• Another 2 billion EUR value of food is wasted in the rest of the
food chain
• In total per capita 135 kilograms of food resources is wasted
=> total food waste for the Netherlands about 2 billion
kilograms per year!
Situation with food waste in NL

Some good news:

In 2016 the average Netherlands
resident tossed about 41 kilograms
of food into trash bin =>
15% decrease in food waste from

However :
People in the Netherlands think
they only throw out about 21 kilos
a year - only half of
the actual amount of food wasted
Source: Food waste in Dutch households in
2016 (Supplementary memorandum)
Situation with food waste in NL

"People still don't see food waste as a big problem.

It is about a mentality - a behavior change needed -
that is the most complicated part of the problem.“
(AJM Timmermans, Wageningen University)
2. Our solution: Concept of foodbank
Foodbank (bank=Dutch for couch) strives for changing
people's harts and minds by inviting them to cook & eat
meals together in our space => 'learning by doing'
mission of spreading public awareness about the problem
with personal, local and also global food waste
3. Our challenges
• Public perception of food waste (≠ inedible food)
• Food safety (hygiene) => 100% vegan food
• Resource management
- goods
- equipment
- finances
- human factor (volunteers and organizational team)
• Partner relationship management

• … Retaining our space @ Landbouwbelang!

Oportunities for academia
• Providing academic research about local food waste (problem,
consequences, opportunities, management) -> to attain a
better understanding of the topic for general public and
business, and a clear motivation to act on it!

• Providing academic research about non-traditional

community initiatives and tips how to organize them

• Better inclusion of the food (waste) management in the

curriculum (individuals below age 30 years and young families
are the biggest 'wasters' of food)
Any questions?

Thank you for your attention 

We hope to see you soon at Foodbank!