Currently, consumers are more environmentally conscious than ever before. Consumers are also becoming more careful in their food and beverage choices. As a result, food companies are expected to integrate increasingly sustainable practices throughout their supply chains. Currently, linear processes are still taking place in a number of places within our current economy. This is negative for our planet. In fact, true sustainability is not linear, but circular. A circular economy can be applied to every step within the food industry. When applied correctly, waste is reduced, the food industry becomes more efficient and value is added by/for a company. However, applying a circular economy within the food industry is not easy. Because of this, we have some tips for you on how to apply a circular economy within the food processing industry:
- Invent new products. This will develop a new process, allowing a circular application to be applied from the beginning. For example, experiments are currently taking place with artificial proteins and food 3D printing. Take a look at the example of Loetje through this link.
- Change production. This will allow production to fit into a sustainable model. The current production model being used has a major problem. That is waste. By changing production and making the production chains shorter, this can be (partially) solved.
- Shorten the distribution. Dividing distribution into different streams makes distribution more efficient. An example of a division is an agricultural and an urban distribution.
- Influence consumer choices. Producers are, of course, entirely responsible for creating a model that allows products to be recycled. However, by influencing a consumer’s behavior, product recycling can be encouraged. Also, a consumer can contribute to a circular economy by adjusting his/her diet. Indeed, food choices of a consumer can cause a shift in supply/demand.
Of course, we also want to continue to improve ourselves. This is because we currently find ourselves in a rapidly changing society characterized by volatility, uncertainty and complexity. As a result, we are always open to tips. So, do you have a tip for us that we haven’t mentioned, but that could be useful in the transition from a linear to a circular economy? Feel free to send us a message! We think it’s important and fun to learn from each other.