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Dutch collective launches scheme to drastically reduce food waste

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A group of 25 Dutch companies, research institutes and government bodies has launched a new scheme called ‘United against food waste’, which aims to drastically reduce food waste in the country.

The core aim of the Task Force Circular Economy in Food is to cut food waste in the Netherlands in half by 2030, compared to the food waste figure recorded in 2015.

This programme will be partially funded by the Dutch government, as The Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality will provide a grant of €7m to the programme over the next four years to fund research, monitoring and education.

The Task Force Circular Economy in Food is comprised of companies and organisations such as Rabobank, McDonald’s Netherlands and Wageningen University & Research, who will provide resources to help achieve this core objective.

Carola Schouten, minister of agriculture, nature and food quality said: “Huge amounts of food are being wasted. This is especially serious when you consider how widespread poverty remains around the world, even in the Netherlands.

“There are places where people go to bed hungry. We need to learn how to better manage foodstuffs and the raw materials, labour and energy required for their production and transportation.

“There are opportunities in this process for many new and innovative ideas and initiatives. Less waste would also allow a significant reduction in CO2 emissions while saving money. In short, it would be good for the environment as well as the finances.”

Toine Timmermans, programme manager of Sustainable Food Chains at Wageningen University & Research said: “The members of the task force have worked hard over the past year to give concrete shape to their ambitions and approach.

“We can be proud of our integrative agenda, with a wide range of partners already forming new partnerships, launching interesting initiatives and achieving real results.

“The task force shows that, if we all build together, with companies at the helm, it is possible to develop an ecosystem of solutions that will generate economic, environmental and social progress towards achieving the transition to a better and more circular food system.”

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