Food is too valuable to waste. Despite this, a large proportion of what we eat still ends up in our waste bins – both at home and in the food production chain. For example, did you know that in the Netherlands we throw away no less than 1.3 billion tonnes of food every year? This is enough to feed three billion people. Or putting it another way: ten times the population of the United States! Unbelievable, isn’t it? MVO Nederland thought so too.

This throwing away of food happens every day. Not only is it a shame because of the wasted food and money, but the wastage is even greater – much greater in fact – than that. This is because the production, packing and transportation of food has a major impact too. For instance, 15,000 litres of water are needed to produce each kilo of beef. So, when you throw away minced meat you are throwing away the water too. And don’t forget the plastic packaging and the CO2 emission during transportation either.


MVO Nederland saw an opportunity for businesses to work together to create a sustainable and socially beneficial food chain. This is why we are setting up the platform ‘Verspilling is Verrukkelijk’ (Tasty Waste)’, which has now grown into a coalition of more than fifteen businesses that provide solutions to reduce food waste. They all make products from ingredients that would otherwise have been thrown away. MVO Nederland is the facilitator and coordinator for this project. We also organise joint events and campaigns to educate and encourage companies and consumers to waste less food.


One of the participating companies is Kromkommer, which makes soup from vegetables with ‘unusual shapes’ that supermarkets don’t want to put on their shelves. Others include Instock, a restaurant that has unsold products on its menu and Beeblue, which makes soap from orange peel. In addition, our partners in this project are tackling their own waste issues and so are also setting an example for their sector. These practical solutions can in turn make other businesses more sustainable when they offer these products in their store or restaurant.

Maria van der Heijden, MVO Nederland director: ‘The Verspilling is Verrukkelijk project is a perfect example of how MVO Nederland works on creating a favourable impact. This initiative demonstrates how smart solutions can be created by entrepreneurs who work together on the same mission. These are the pioneers who are helping to swell the ranks of a growing movement against food wastage.’


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