EU Fusions - AF-EU-13015

The Dutch agri-food sector has listed making the agri-food chain sustainable as one of its key priorities. Improving efficiency in the use of raw materials will directly contribute to making society sustainable. Reducing waste in the agri-food chain by 40%-50% will make an enormous contribution to reducing inputs (like energy, water and raw materials) and adverse effects on biodiversity. For example, the total impact of food waste on the environment in Europe is estimated to be the equivalent of at least 170 million tonnes of CO2 each year (BIOIS, 2011). Food waste is an important topic in the discussion on global food security and ties in with the social aspects of food consumption and production. In the Netherlands, 1.5-2.5 million tonnes of food commodities are underutilised even though this is avoidable (FBR, 2013).

Project objectives

The main ambition of the FUSIONS project is to take charge of the process of achieving a radical improvement in valorising biomass raw materials. In that regard, its guiding principle is to retain raw materials for human consumption.

Approach and timeline

The project will work at various levels (local, regional, sector, national and European) to find solutions in order to achieve this ambition. The project will provide knowledge and insights that will be used by individual companies, sector organisations and other parties in order to radically improve the sustainability of their chains. Specific products include various monitoring tools and manuals that illustrate the potential for improvement and promising efficiency measures. New innovations and concepts are being developed and tested in the agri-food chain, which will lead to an expansion of the best practices database. The project will use objective insights to contribute to policy recommendations for European and national government, for example in the area of legislation and regulations. Through the exchange of knowledge and the use of awareness-raising mechanisms, the project will invite and encourage companies to get to work on improvement processes that have already been initiated.

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