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Need to Know

The Netherlands Announces National Program to Reduce Food Waste

The program is called United Against Food Waste.

The Netherlands has announced a new national program, United Against Food Waste, as part of its goal to cut food waste in half. The program was announced by the Taskforce Circular Economy in Food, a group made up of companies, research institutes, civil organization and the government.

“Food loss and waste is an issue that must be prioritized, and it takes committed leaders to do that,” said Hans Hoogeveen, ambassador and permanent representative of the Netherlands to the UN Organizations for Food and Agriculture, in a statement. “We have an obligation to ensure the food that is produced around the world feeds people, and that it doesn’t go unused or end up in landfills. A lot of work remains. Public-private partnerships are vital for building the momentum needed to halve the more than 1 billion tons of food that is lost or wasted from farm to fork each year.”

One of the initiatives the program will undergo is a pilot supermarket aisle populated with items made from foods that would have otherwise gone to waste, such as beer made from stale bread and soaps made from discarded orange peels.

“It’s very exciting to be able to go into a grocery store and buy items you know are helping to avoid excess waste. It’s equally exciting to see the lessons we can glean about which types of products and packaging appeal to consumers, what pricing level is correct, and how best to market and present the products,” said Louise Fresco, president of Wageningen University and Research’s executive board and a member of Champions 12.3, in a statement. “One-third of all food is lost or wasted in the world, and the social, environmental and economic impacts are enormous. It’s urgent that we find scalable solutions to this challenge.”

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