Hate Waste Love Food

Approximately one third of all food worldwide is wasted. Everyone wants less waste, but it clearly isn't that easy. In the Netherlands, the government has failed to realize its targets on waste reduction. Of all the food wasted, about a third is thrown away by consumers, while the rest is lost at the farm, the store or somewhere in between. Nature & More takes its own responsibility and makes an effort to find solutions for food waste. For this reason we work together with all kinds of wonderful charities and social enterprises.

The problem of food waste
According to the FAO (the food and agriculture organisation of the UN) 1/3 of all the food we produce is wasted, worldwide. Consumers in Europe are discarding approximately 100 kg of food each year. Around 180 kg are lost before that, somewhere in de production and supply chain, between farmer en grocery store. In developing countries consumers waste much less, but more is lost in storage and distribution. With all the food that is lost, all the hungry people in the world could be fed theoretically. Apart from food waste, there's an associated loss of wasted fossil fuel and other natural resources. The United States want to reduce food waste in 2030 by 50%. This target is related to Sustainable Development Goals 2 (zero hunger) and 12 (responsible production and consumption).
 
Why Eosta has ‘waste’ too
Sometimes Eosta has to discard fruits or vegetables as well. The main cause are all the different requirement that products have to meet. The European Standards are one of them. They say, for example, that a Class 1 cucumber cannot be bent: according to EU rules the maximum allowed curvature is 1 cm per 10 cm of fruit. The social enterprise Kromkommer, one of our partners, is committed to preventing the wastage of crooked fruits and vegetables.
 
High demands
In the Netherlands the Quality Control Agency KCB (and in other EU-countries, similar organisations ) checks fruits and vegetables for compliance with EU regulations. When, for example, 2% of an apple shipment has open skin damage, the shipment is rejected. In that case the apples need to be sorted and repacked, before the whole cargo can be submitted to approval. In a box with lemons, only 3 are allowed to be defected. In addition, supermarkets often have additional requirements. 


Apples with open skin damage, sorted out - but still beautiful

Living products
Fruits and vegetables are living products which ripen, breathe and decay. If something goes wrong during transport, the product may become too ripe or other problems may occur. Sometimes customers send a product back; the return transport often reduces the quality. Alternatively, something may go wrong during overseas transport. Organic hard fruit and citrus fruit do not receive any chemical coating and are therefore more vulnerable. And sometimes a product cannot be sold in time, simply because supply exceeds demand.

What does Eosta do with it?
Products that for some reason do no longer meet the requirements of our customers, are often sold to market vendors. Some high-quality products are sold to social enterprises such as "Kromkommer" at a strongly reduced price. Alternatively, we often make the choice to donate products to charities. We have several great cooperation projects in the region, to which we donate fruit and vegetables regularly. Products that are no longer suitable for consumption go to a biogas plant via our packaging partner IQ Packing. In our new company headquarters, where we will be located from 1 July 2018 onwards, the rejected products go into a masher and will then be used for insect cultivation.


In May 2017 Dutch tv-program The Monitor covered how Eosta handles waste

Research with Louis Bolk Institute, Wageningen University and Ekoplaza
Since 2017 Eosta is participating in the (Dutch) research project "An efficient chain - avoiding food waste" of the Louis Bolk Institute and Wageningen Univeristy. The study is investigating how food waste in the organic supply chain can be reduced and where the bottle necks can be found. In the subproject "Elastic supply chain" Eosta is working together with UDEA (Ekoplaza) to see if it is possible to sell surplus products at a reduced price, thereby reducing the risk of wastage. 

You are here

Let us introduce you to some of our "Hate Waste Love Food" projects:  

Foundation "Activiteiten Met Zuid"
This charity foundation in Rotterdam focuses on young and elderly people who have become socially isolated, often due to poverty. One branch of Stichting Activiteiten Met Zuid is the "Swingmarket", where people can shop for free (after an intake interview), using a special card. There are now three Swingmarket stores in Rotterdam. In this reportage you can read how Jakob Meinardi, the founder, takes care of business. On the photo you see Eosta's Bert van Drongelen (right) with Jakob Meinardi (left).

Bokashi-experiment
Eosta is participating in a trial with Bij de Oorsprong to make bokashi from spoilt fruits and vegetables: bokashi is fermented organic waste that can be used as a natural fertilizer and soil enhancer in gardening. It can be considered an alternative to compost. The difference is that the bokashi fermentation process is anaerobic while the composting process is aerobic. This also means that no carbon is burnt in making bokashi. More of the original carbon and nitrogen remains in the product, while the relative concentration of other minerals is less. Both bokashi and compost improve soil life. It's still unclear how the positive effects of bokashi and compost compare in the long run. More research needs to be done in this field.

Kromkommer 
We have a nice cooperation with social enterprise Kromkommer, which pays a fair price for products that do not look great (anymore) but are nevertheless tasty and healthy. They use these organic ingredients to make there own excellent products such as delicious soups. 

Ugly Food Rescuers Club
The Ugly Food Rescuers Club of Arabella and Diana has frequently cooked delicious meals with our "waste" fruits and vegetables, in close cooperation with Blue City Rotterdam

Hotspot Hutspot 
Hotspot Hutspot is a neigbourhood restaurant of Rotterdam where teenagers from vulnerable groups come together to prepare good and healthy meals. Under professional guidance they cook an affordable and healthy three-course menu which is served to the restaurant guests.

By the Ocean We Unite
This great organisation fights against plastic pollution in our oceans. Their mission is close to our heart, as Eosta strives to reduce plastic use in packaging with Natural Branding laser tattoos. We therefore occasionally support the sailing missions of By the Ocean We Unite with fresh organic fruits and vegetables. 

Care For Family Foundation
Think global, act local! This organisation in Waddinxveen, where our headquarters are located, takes care of some 270 underprivileged families in the surroundings that pick up a food back every week at the distribution centre. See more here

Foundation "Isaak En De Schittering"
This Rotterdam foundation has three food distribtuion centres where underprivileged citizens can obtain their daily bread, groceries and fresh fruits and vegetables for free. In this manner the organisation helps to reduce food waste and also helps people with financial problems to eat a healthy diet. Find more info here (Dutch).

Special events
We also occasionally supply fruits and vegetables to activities and events with an idealistic leveren ook incidenteel groente en fruit aan acties en evenementen met een idealistisch purpose, such as the annual Disco Soup Day in Rotterdam which is organised by the Slow Food Youth Network 010, Zero Food Waste, Broodnodig en Zorgvrijstaat. 

The Sustainability Flower

The Sustainability Flower is the core of our business. Every Nature & More grower has a personal Sustainability Flower. It points the way to a greener and more social economy. More info here.