Background/Premise

Every year, approximately 2 million tons of food goes to waste in Flanders, according to a study by OVAM and the Interdepartmental Working Group on Food Losses in cooperation with the food industry, the distribution sector, and the agricultural sector.

Flanders wants to decrease this food waste by 15% by 2020 and by 30% by 2025. Food waste streams are therefore a hot item, and the food industry can certainly make a contribution, but how do we do this?

This project was submitted by !DROPS together with SERR Oostende Flanders Fields under the call for the project Foodloose from Streekfonds West Flanders. Together, we want to support the organizations who are working to reduce food losses. We started with a pilot project in Flanders, during which we uncovered the needs and requirements so we were able to formulate solutions.

We bundled our forces with Disruptive Food and the local parties, and we searched for solutions to food surpluses in Flanders Fields! The creative labs were the place where we interacted with everyone.

Incubate

Along with SERR Ostend – Flanders Fields, Welfare Consultation and the social services of De Panne, Koksijde, Dixmude, and Veurne, we bundled forces to optimize the approach regarding food surpluses.

Empower

In six creative sessions in the participating municipalities, the problems involving food surpluses were identified, but we also formulated many solutions.

Harvest

Too often nothing is done with food surpluses because it is not always obvious to people, companies, farmers, … where they can go with surpluses. With this project, we want to give this further thought and offer solutions.

Professionalization of the food distribution to efficiently cater to the increasing demand of people for food packages.

A more efficient organization of food distribution and how food surpluses are handled, through a clear regional coordination and logistical processing.

Strengthening the network on both local and supra-local level by organizing meetings. These moments of encounter can be a training, an info point, or a working group to design concrete projects.

Responding to the mobility problem: disadvantaged groups cannot always get to a distribution point autonomously. Volunteers bring home packages, but that results in a high workload. A mobile story could be an option.

Generate additional employment in the SE companies.

In 2017, we will seek to generate innovative ideas and solutions to these issues in co-creation with the merchants, social services, and food distribution points in Flanders Fields!