Pepper sorter and packager Rainbow Kleinpak receives the first voucher against food waste. With this, the company from the Dutch town of De Lier invests in a business case to process pepper waste in a higher-quality manner. A variety of organizations are involved in the project.
Together with the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Rabobank, and the Regional Development Companies, the Dutch foundation Samen Tegen Voedselverspilling created the voucher scheme to stimulate innovations in countering food waste.
Saskia van der Laan of Samen Tegen Voedselverspilling hands the first voucher to Edwin Kester of Rainbow Kleinpak
“Why import paprika powder from far away places when we are left with 2 million kilos of pepper that are not suited for retail due to scaring or spots each season?” Edwin Kester, former director at Rainbow Kleinpak, wondered.
He is happy about the voucher: “Much of our residual flow goes to cutting plants. Part of it is processed into fodder or gets composted. But, we could easily have it processed at a higher quality to become juice, herb mixes, or turn it into ingredients for food supplements. With the voucher, we will research the best applications and develop a business case together with partners in the production chain.”
Collaboration in the chain
Multiple organizations are involved in the projects. Spice supplier HELA Thissen from the Dutch city of Venlo is looking into the possibility of using wasted peppers in products such as paprika powder, sauces, and dressings. The Keep Food Simple foundation supplies knowledge about ingredients and possible applications. Bodec supports the project with knowledge about process technology, Food Tech Brainport facilitates process guidance and conducts numerous tests.
Saskia van der Laan, manager of business solutions at Samen Tegen Voedselverspilling: “Due to the many applications to participate in the voucher scheme, which we launched this spring, we can safely say that preventing food waste is something that is also on the minds of entrepreneurs. The initiative of Rainbow Kleinpak is a beautiful example of the production chain working together to better utilize a large amount of the residual flow. We want to help speed up this process of innovation. At the same time, a project like this is also interesting from an economic perspective. Pure profit we call it: for the conservation of resources, climate and from a financial perspective.”
With a voucher, companies can, for instance, call in an expert, develop a business case, or scale and innovation up to the production level. The voucher covers half the project’s costs. The other half needs to be contributed by the company itself.
The scheme is made possible with a financial contribution by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature & Food Quality, and Rabobank and is also supported by Regional Development Companies. At present, the applications to participate in the scheme are being looked at: soon, more vouchers will be granted.